Getting Kids Excited about Reading and Writing
This brochure from the National Association for the Education of Young Children comes home with every about-to-be-a-Kindergartner at our school. This is their guide to parents for raising a reader and writer. I just condensed it and added a few ideas of my own.
1. Talk, Sing, and Play with Your Child.
- Expand on what your child says.
- Talk as you do simple everyday things together.
- Recite nursery rhymes and do finger games like the “This Little Pig Went to the Market.”
- Describe the child’s activities.
2. Make Time to Read Together Each Day
- Don’t forget reading time with dad or granddad– it’s not just a “girl” thing.
- Bring a few books when you head out for errands. Waiting at pick-ups for older siblings is a great time to read a book together!
3. Choose Books With Care
- Involve your child in the book selection.
- Look for books that relate to what’s happening in your child’s life at home. Going on vacation? Starting school?
4. Surround Your Child with Reading Material
- Consider subscribing to a children’s magazine. Children love getting mail! National Geographic has some great ones!
- Help your preschooler create a book of their own with drawings, photos or other things that have meaning for him or her. My son likes to staple together coloring sheets and then dictate a story to me or create a story using a sheet of stickers.
- A librarian suggested keeping (and rotating) a basket of books in the bathroom just to look at.
5. Slow Down and Have Fun
- Read at a leisurely pace
- Occasionally pose a question or make a remark that will prompt the child to think a little, express himself, or relate the story to his own experience (even if your child’s response to you is, “Mommy, just read the story!”)
6. Read It Again … And Again!
- Repetition is great for kids!
- If the books are really of good quality, you won’t mind as much!
7. Foster Your Child’s Awareness of Print and How We Use It
- Point out everyday print like street and store signs
- Provide magnetic or plastic letters to play with.
- Write notes for kids to read…lunch boxes are great places for this!
8. Provide a Variety of Writing Tools and Materials
- Stock a writing area with scrap paper, used greeting cards, bank forms, mail-order tear off cards, envelopes and notebooks.
- Provide different kinds of markers, pens, crayons, pencils and other writing tools such as alphabet stampers and letter stencils.
- Allow children to use the computer to write.
9. Don’t Push or Pressure Children About What or When to Read
- Don’t nag your child to read.
- Comic books count!
10. Show Children that You Value Their Efforts
- Display their work prominently.
- Ask your child to read to you, even if it’s just one word a page. Rhyming books are great for a child to read the last word of each page.
- If a child makes a mistake when reading aloud, don’t interrupt. If the mistake doesn’t change the meaning, let it go.
- Respond positively to the message in your children’s writing rather than focus on the handwriting or spelling.