Raising a Reader

This article by Regan McMahon hits all the tried and true tactics for raising a reader. Here are some of her tips, and a few of my own: - Read aloud, early and often. Make reading to your child a daily habit. Keep it short for a squirmy child, but read every day. - Help your child discover a series. The Magic Tree House books for emerging readers are wonderful! - Share the classics! What did you love reading as a child? Find a copy and share it, but if it’s not the right fit for your child, move on. - Does your child love mysteries? There’s nothing wrong with a stretch of sticking with one genre, so help her find new authors in her favorite genre - How about a favorite author? Read them all! Write a fan letter! - If your daughter loves dogs, and nothing but dogs, read all about them. Non-fiction is great, but search for picture books or fiction on his favorite subject, too. - Don’t get fixated on “quality.” If all your son wants to read is Captain Underpants, check them all out of the library and enjoy his laughter. After all, we don’t always read classics! Humor, joke books, riddles are all great ways to explore language. - Comics count! Reading is reading. If your daughter wants to read only graphic novels, help her find new series to explore. There are so many great artists and authors in the graphic novel genre right now. You can subtly steer her toward retellings of classics and mythology, or buy piles of Disney comics--it’s all reading! - If your child is glued to a tablet, see if you can check ebooks out of your library. I would add two more tips--make book shopping a reward. Whether it’s a comic book at the grocery store, or a trip to the bookstore to get the next book in a series, show your child that books are a valued item in your house. Garage sales are great for picking up a lot of books for a small amount of cash. Also, if all else fails, try audiobooks as a family. There are some great narrators for children’s books, and you might find it a relaxing ritual to listen together after tucking your child in for the night. And finally, model reading to them! If you’re “too busy to read,” you’re not demonstrating how important reading is. Try audiobooks on your way to work. Stop by the library to pick out cookbooks with your child, or giant art books to explore together. Connect reading with sharing time with you, and your child will learn to love reading!

I run a middle school library, in the golden age of children's and young adult books! There is not enough time in the day to read all of them, but I will share what I can.
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