I think the easiest way to get children to enjoy reading is to start reading to them when they are very young, as soon as they can sit up and enjoy looking at pictures. Make 'story time" a part of the day's activities. As they get older, take them to the library and find books on subjects they enjoy. Also, let them see that Mom and Dad enjoy reading too, even if it means turning off the TV for a while. Encouraging a love of reading is one of the most important things you can do for your child.
By Joan from Chesterfield, MI
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Excellent reminder! I'm a lifelong bookworm and always had at least one book "in progress." I only wissh I'd had more energy and patience to read to my four "stair-step" children. In spite of that, though, all four read well (although one has a little trouble yet,) and both daughters are or will soon be certified teachers. My older daughter plans to teach English and reads to her son regularly.
I completely agree - I started reading to my daughters before they could sit up! If you don't believe how great the benefits are or would like to feel really good about reading to children, check out this book:
The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
It provides a list of great books to read out loud to kids with the best ages for each book and a wealth of information about how much better kids will do in math and other seemingly non-related subjects thanks to solid reading skills.
I feel like it is my duty to use our public library. Each time the tax statement comes and it shows the line item of what I'm paying to support my library, it tells me that I need to check out at least the value worth of books. Our library has provided hours of entertainment through its story hours and special events outside of the actual books we check out each week. I love the library!
When our children were young, we left a book in the car. Each time we went anywhere, they took turns reading. A few years ago, our son went on a trip with us. He brought a book and we all took a turn reading (except the driver!) We still pass books around and all enjoy reading.
Good advice. I grew up in a very small town in Louisiana. My earliest memories are of my brother, my sister, and me walking to the Library every Saturday. I couldn't even read yet but my brother always helped me pick out books and then he would read them to me. I am now in my early 60s and I still love to read. Along with taking care of house, hubby, and full time job I still manage to read about three or four books a week. And, no, I don't do "speed reading" and I retain what I read.
Margaret from Denton, Texas
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