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Children are made readers on the laps of their parents- Emilie Buchwald

Guest post by Barbara Luster, Dallas Christian Librarian

I REMEMBER my mother reading books to me, like The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew – and how we both cried. And I remember subscribing to book clubs and receiving a new book every month – Follow My Leader, The Secret of the Samurai Sword, and Walt Disney: Secrets of Life, for example. Miss Hickory was one of my favorites.
As an adult, I read to my kids on trips – we went to Colorado to ski at Thanksgiving, and I would take a book that I thought might be intimidating to them, like Johnny Tremain (Esther Forbes) or The Homecoming (Cynthia Voigt). We all enjoyed them – even my husband, who wanted me to keep reading even if the kids had fallen asleep!

Then Read Aloud

If you want kids to want to read,
Then read aloud to them.
If you want kids to fall crazy in love with great books,
Then read great books aloud to them.
If you want kids to view books as a way to learn about themselves,
Then read aloud books that mirror the soul.
If you want kids to travel to new corners of their minds,
Then read aloud stories of adventure and exploration.
If you want kids to become civil and graceful human beings,
Then read aloud tales that teach respect and human kindness.
If you want kids never to stop growing as readers,
Then never stop reading aloud.

From “Simply Inspired Teaching” A blog by Kari Yates, January 25, 2015

 Do you realize that if you read 15 minutes a day, it adds up to 91 hours, and over One Million Words in a year? One million words to be exposed to – to learn how to pronounce, understand, and add to your vocabulary! Research shows that reading with your child is the number one thing you can do to help prepare your child for success in future reading and learning. Children who are read to consistently from an early age pass their peers in language development, brain development, and literacy skill building, and are more likely to have a love for reading.

Why is 15 Minutes a Magic Number in Reading?

So read to your child! You will enjoy it and your child will not forget those times you spent together as you visited other worlds, met different characters, had adventures, solved mysteries, and learned empathy, compassion, respect, and kindness along the way.

The Internet lists lots of suggestions for recommended books to read aloud. Here are a few:
http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/rah-treasury-intro.html#pagetop
http://www.scholastic.com/100BestReadAloudBooks/

Some other suggestions for Reading Encouragement:

Our DC library is well stocked, but occasionally the book your child wants to read is checked out to someone else. Often the public library will have a copy on the shelf.  So, get a library card and visit the public library often. It’s fun to explore and the librarian will be glad to help you find whatever you’re interested in.  Also available at the public library are Audiobooks.  They are a good way to help your child read. He can follow along in the book as he hears it, and listening skills, vocabulary, fluency, and imagination will increase as he enjoys hearing a good story or learning about an interesting subject.

Consider E-books. Some parents have reported a reluctant reader’s success in reading on a Kindle because he was not intimidated by the number of pages, since page numbers weren’t marked on the Kindle.

Let your child observe you reading – books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Seeing that reading is important and enjoyable to you makes him see the value of reading himself.  Read a book your child is reading and talk with him about it. Interesting discussions can take place, and you may have an opportunity to broach a subject that needs to be covered.

Visit the DC Library during our upcoming Scholastic book fair on March 25-29.

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