Use Children's Books to Encourage Kids to Read

Published: 17th November 2006
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Use Children's Books to Encourage Kids to Read

As most parents know, reading skills are critical for preschool learning and childhood development. Studies have shown that children that are diagnosed with reading problems during their early school years, will continue having reading and learning problems through the 9th grade and beyond. Even more troubling, almost 50 percent of adolescents and young people with criminal records have reading difficulties.

Sadly, many of today's kids would rather watch TV or play video games than read a book. Being a bookworm, or even showing an interest in reading, is percieved as a ?nerdish? activity. Most of the heros in today's society are professional athletes, actors, or music icons.

But don't despair, all is not lost. Getting your kids to read can be a challange, but with the use of quality children's books, it doesn't have to be an insermountable one. Here are some steps you can take in order to encourage reading in children:

The first step to read to your child at an early age. Many adults have fond memories of their parents reading them bedtime stories when they were toddlers, and reading to your child will help foster a love of words and reading.

Be a good reading "role model" for your children or grandchildren. Let them see you reading on a regular basis, and how much you enjoy reading books and magazines.

Another good idea is to fill your child's room with books. Kids who grow up surrounded by books learn to think of them as friends, and allies in their pursuit of reading, learning, and wonderful new adventures.

As your child grows and matures, introduce him or her to books that match their interests and hobbies. Show them how an informative book can deepen and expand their knowledge on a particular topic--and expand their horizons as well.

Make sure your child or grandchild has a library card. Libraries are wonderful resources for reading and learning. Show your children how libraries can be places of wonder and excitement, and can open up new worlds of learning that will last a lifetime.

And lastly, consider setting limits on the amount of time your child spends in front of a TV or video game console. While there's nothing wrong with playing video games or watching TV, those activities aren't going to do much to develop your child's reading and language skills. For that, you need to set them down in front of a good children's book, and make sure they spend at least 30 minutes per day reading it.

They might not like it now, but chances are they'll thank you for it later on in life.


Kent Johnson ? Reading Expert and Career Coach

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