An adult's words as well actions speak volumes. Children pay attention to everything they see in their immediate surroundings. Whatever behavior they see is what they will emulate. So, if your child sees you reading, books, magazines, newspapers, and newsletters she or he will realize that reading is important and will want to read as well. Reading to your child on a regular basis is one of the best ways to encourage your emerging reader. Here are some tips on making the most of your reading time with your child/children:
1. Make reading time a relaxing and enjoyable activity.
2. Eliminate all distractions such as televisions, telephones, and stereos.
3. Establish a routine time and place for reading when possible.
4. Have your child select the books they would like to read. Don’t select books for them.
5. Before beginning a new book, tap into your child’s prior knowledge. For example, read the book’s title and ask your child what the story might be about, what type characters are in the book and where the story may take place.
6. Allow your child to hold the book, see the illustrations and turn the pages.
7. Periodically stop to ask questions about the reading to help your child develop comprehension skills.
8. Read the books with expression. Alter your voice for characters and become animated during exciting parts.
9. Read the same books repeatedly. Children really like repetition and enjoy being able to “read” along when they become familiar with a book.