Wandering around a local bookstore is a travel adventure to me. Naturally, that was part of my plan when my daughters and I visited a friend in Provincetown.
My 7-year old went one way. My 4-year old whined in agony.
“Mom, I’m not like everybody else in the family.” She threw herself on the floor. “I hate bookstores!”
News to me. We went to bookstores as often as the playground. Snuggling at night with a read-aloud, talking about the story as we read, and keeping piles of library books around the house was part of family life.
I led her to the children’s section and encouraged her to pick out a book. A few feet away, I sank into the nonfiction.
Soon, a little voice began. It was my 4-year-old, reading a book aloud. By herself. I held my breath. When had she begun reading? I asked her nonchalantly.
“Just now,” she said.
It’s one thing to be a teacher and witness the light bulb moment when children learn to read. When it’s your child, it’s a thrill. But it is not magic.
These are two simple ways to help your child be a good reader:
- Keep all kinds of books, magazines, newspapers, catalogs, and e-readers around the house. Kids need to be immersed in print to become good readers.
- Kids need to see their family members reading. Read aloud to kids and read alone. (Even if reading isn’t your favorite activity.)
When you help a reader grow, you’re helping to build a better world.