“Tips for Parents Who Want Their Children To Read”
Rex Deckard, M.Ed.
In an age of technology when kids are bombarded with multi-sensory games such as Sega Genesis, Nintendo, and are challenged at a young age to “surf the internet”, it is often difficult for parents to entice their children to read. It is difficult to prove that those little black marks stacked row after row on a white piece of paper and bound together in cardboard have any allurement. And yet we know that reading is exciting, and for thousands of years it has been the door which introduces its visitors to thrilling new worlds.
The following are some practical tips to help parents in encouraging their children to read.
1. Start young- many parents even read stories to their babies prior to birth. Began training in letters and sounds as early as pre-school.
2. Read aloud to children from the beginning, and continue on after they learn how to read themselves. Even adults enjoy hearing a good story, and there is a bonding that takes place between the reader and the listener.
3. Help small children in memorizing nursery rhymes, songs, and short poems. Words set to rhythm or music are always easier to remember and much more fun. Actions are also helpful in this process. A general rule is that, the more stimulation that accompanies the words (such as sound, motion, visual), the easier it will be to remember them.
4. Build vocabulary with games, and by talking to your child, not at them.
5. Provide plenty of books, magazines, maps, and other literary items in your home.
6. Let the children see you enjoying a good book or magazine.
7. Make the library a special place to visit. Keep up with the library’s schedule of events and activities and be involved.
8. Point out letters and words everywhere you go- road signs, restaurant menus, billboards, grocery store
advertisements. This lets the child see the value of reading.
9. Take an approach to your child that is best for them- phonics, sight reading, or a combination of techniques. Children are unique, and some respond differently than others to particular teaching methods.
10. Don’t make reading sound like hard work, or just a school concern. Prior to opening a book, say things like: “Lets take a trip to a mysterious land….” “Let’s go way back in time….long before grandma was even
“Let’s visit someone really, really funny…”
*Bro. Deckard earned his B.S. in Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, and his Masters at Trevecca College, Nashville, Tennessee. He is a certified teacher, principal, and has been involved with emotionally handicapped adolescents for several years. He is also a licensed UPCI minister.