Reading at Home Tips

Tips for Reading to and with Children

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  • Try reading books with chapters and talk about what is happening in the story. Encourage your child to make predictions about what will happen next and connect characters or events to those in other books and stories.

  • Talk with your child about reading preferences that are beginning to develop. Ask whether she likes adventure stories, mysteries, science fiction, animal stories or stories about other children. Encourage her to explain the reasons for preferences.

  • Talk with your child about favorite authors and help him find additional books by those authors.

  • Take turns reading a story with your child. Don't interrupt to correct mistakes that do not change the meaning.

  • Talk about the meaning of new words and ideas introduced in books. Help your child think of examples of new concepts.

  • Talk with your child about stories using the notions of the beginning, middle and end of the story to organize thinking and discussion.

  • Ask your child to tell why a character might have taken a specific action. Ask for information from the story to support your answer.

  • If he wants to read aloud to you from his school book, listen attentively. If he stumbles over a word from time to time, simply tell him what it is. However, if he misses many words in material with which he should be familiar, consult his teacher.

  • When she reads aloud to you, don't try to use teaching techniques, such as having her "sound out" words. Instead, enjoy the story together, laugh over it, discuss the plot, praise her for reading especially well, or for figuring out a word for herself.

  • Give children extra opportunities to read. Let them read the directions for that new game or for putting model airplanes together. Ask them to "help you" by reading the cookie recipe or traffic signs.

  • Introduce the pleasures of the public library. Let him browse. Get a library card for her. Let him choose books that he wants, rather than books you feel he should read. Buy books for children, too, as the basis for a home library of their own.

  • Set a good example as a reader—read every day at home even if it is a magazine or newspaper.

  • If you're not sure what books are appropriate for your child's reading level and/or specific interests, ask LCM's librarian Mrs. Clark or the children's librarian at the public library for advice.

  • Read a variety of genre including fiction, non-fiction, and biography. 

  • Make reading fun, a time that you both look forward to spending together.