Promoting the Habit of Reading

We know that children who read regularly do better in school.

Reading develops imagination, intelligence and questioning skills during important developmental years. Here are some ideas to encourage daily reading as we head into summer.

Create the Quiet
Children live in a fast-moving, stimulus-laden environment. Create regular, quiet times for reading, with no computers, no TV and no phone. Choose 20 minutes before bed-time, after dinner or on Saturday morning.

Create the Desire
Have books of all types available: fiction, non-fiction, poetry and picture books. Get a list from your child’s classroom teacher or the library.

Also know that a child’s independent reading level is one grade lower than his or her classroom instructional level. If a student is reading at grade level in 4th grade, this is because the teacher gives instruction with vocabulary and concepts. He or she should be comfortable reading 3rd grade-level books independently at home.

The idea is to have fun and to create a habit. Reading Shakespeare comes later.

Create The Chart
Children love the concreteness of charts. Charts help them see progress, and they keep us honest. Also, they can be tied into a reward system. You can jointly decide if the chart is for the number of reading minutes or the number of times spent reading.

Create The Reward: You
Choose a date or a special outing together, like hot chocolate or a trip to the library, for finishing a week of reading. You and your child can create the list of things that you could do together, then have your child pick.

Create The Model
The final piece is for your child to see you reading—every day!

Need a few great book suggestions? We love the North Shore’s local bookstores!