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.
Get Kids Writing with a Progressive Story
Writing for Reluctant Readers by Ty Drago
Writing Hi Lo Fiction and Books for Boys
Writing Tips for Children from NS Blackman
Getting Kids Involved with Creative Writing
Writing Revision Tips for Kids: Why Writing is All About Revising
Connecting Reading with Writing in Kindergarten
A Teacher Turned Author Inspires Writing Seeds
Write Now Read Later: Summer Writing Prompts for Kids
Write First Read Later: Alien Writing Prompts for Kids
Reading and Imagining Writing Exercise For Kids
Middle School Writing: How to Use the COMMA
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.