Monday, August 29, 2011

Tips for Fostering Your Little Reader's Skills

The following is a guest post submitted by Sarah Morris for Primrose Schools - offering the best in child care and early education

Studies indicate a strong link between academic achievement and literacy. Early exposure to concepts in print often predicts later academic success. Literacy experts suggest parents read to their child as early as possible. Parents who express enthusiasm about reading help instill a lifelong appreciation of the written word. A particularly young child may not yet comprehend sounds and letters, but he can read his mother's facial expressions as she points to the pictures in a book. Likewise, a child readily learns that words read from left to right as she watches her father guide his finger across the page.

If you want your child to embrace reading, provide daily supplemental reading at home. Learning does not just occur at school after all. Robert Needleman, M.D., author of Dr. Spock's Baby Basics advises parents to make reading a part of each day. The very act of reading to your child in a manner that conveys pleasure is enough to encourage enjoyment of books in general.

As children mature, they develop greater control over the types of books they would like to read. Encourage this independence as it provides a good indication of a child's preference for reading. In the meantime, select books with small repetitive or rhythmic words and dynamic illustrations. Since children tend to like hearing the same stories over and over, you should choose books that you will enjoy reading again and again. If you pick out books that you enjoy, you are more likely to read with animated expression. Your child will pick up on these visual and auditory cues and develop a positive association with books and reading.

Apply any of the following tips to create an environment that fosters a young reader:

• Read to your child on a regular basis, starting in infancy.
• Choose age-appropriate books that encompass an array of topics
• Encourage older children to read aloud as often as possible.
• Ask your child's teacher or school librarian for a list of recommended books
• Visit the local library and participate in reading programs
• Pack books in your travel bag so you always have something to read

In order for children to make sense of a world full of language, they must receive ongoing support. It is important to provide an environment where children are surrounded by books and reading. Home reading helps children develop important literacy and language skills they will use throughout life. In an acute sense, reading provides contextual clues and exposure to grammar and sentence structure. In a broad sense, reading encourages the value of education. Children who learn the importance of academics usually strive to perform their best in school and beyond. Get your child started on a lifelong journey of reading today.


  1. VERY true! My daughter (who happened to go to a Primrose School in Arizona)is testing at an advanced level in reading and vocabulary. I believe this is from reading to her early in life and reading to and with her everyday. She now has a love of reading.:)

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