• 10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Reading

    The following are some ways to turn a young reader's reluctance into enthusiasm:

    1.  Scout for things your children might like to read.  Use their interests and hobbies as starting points.

    2.  Leave all sorts of reading materials including books, magazines, and colorful catalogs in conspicuous places around your home.

    3.  Notice what attracts your children's attention, even if they only look at the pictures.  Then build on that interest; read a short selection aloud, or simply bring home more information on the same subject.

    4.  Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.

    5.  Take your children to the library regularly.  Explore the children's section together.  Ask a librarian to suggest books and magazines your children might enjoy.

    6.  Present reading as an activity with a purpose; a way to gather useful information for, say, making paper airplanes, identifying a doll or stamp in your child's collection, or planning a family trip.

    7.  Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters.  Older children enjoy showing off their skills to an admiring audience.

    8.  Play games that are reading-related.  Check your closet for spelling games played with letter tiles or dice, or board games that require players to read spaces, cards, and directions.

    9.  Perhaps over dinner, while you're running errands, or in another informal setting, share your reactions to things you read, and encourage your children to do likewise. 

    10.  Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork, the 20 minutes before lights out, just after dinner, or whatever fits into your household schedule.  As little as 10 minutes of free reading a day can help improve your child's skills and habits.  

    Another 10 Ways for Parents to Encourage Reading

    1.  Read aloud to your child, especially a child who is discouraged by his or her own poor reading skills.  The pleasure of listening to you read, rather than struggling alone, may restore your child's initial enthusiasm for books and reading.

    2.  Encourage your child to read aloud to you an exciting passage in a book, an interesting tidbit in the newspaper, or a joke in a joke book.  When children read aloud, don't feel they have to get every word right.  Even good readers skip or mispronounce words now and then.

    3.  On gift-giving occasions, give books and magazines based on your child's current interests.

    4.  Set aside a special place for children to keep their own books.

    5.  Introduce the bookmark.  Remind your youngster that you don't have to finish a book in one sitting; you can stop after a few pages, or a chapter, and pick up where you left off at another time.  Don't try to persuade your child to finish a book he or she doesn't like.  Recommend putting the book aside and trying another.

    6.  Treat your children to an evening of laughter and entertainment featuring books!  Many children (parents, too) regard reading as a serious activity.  A joke book, a story told in riddles, or a funny passage read aloud can reveal another side of reading. 

    7.  Extend your child's positive reading experiences.  For example, if your youngster enjoyed a book about dinosaurs, follow up with a visit to a natural history museum.

    8.  Offer other special incentives to encourage your child's reading.  Allow your youngster to stay up an extra 15 minutes to finish a chapter; promise to take your child to see a movie after he or she has finished the book on which it was based; relieve your child of a regular chore to free up time for reading.

    9.  Limit your children's TV viewing in an effort to make time for other activities, such as reading.  But never use TV as a reward for reading, or a punishment for not reading.

    10.  Not all reading takes place between the covers of a book.  What about menus, road signs, food labels, and sheet music?  Take advantage of countless spur-of-the-moment opportunities for reading during the course of your family's busy day.


    Suggestions for Reading and Writing Ideas







    Write a letter to a family about something you learned in school. Use at least three new words from Reading

    Make a story map with Narrative Elements of the selection you are reading. Include the setting, main character, problem and solution. Write a paragraph as practice for your reading response.

    Evaluate the author’s purpose for writing this selection. Did the author write it to entertain, to inform, to persuade, or tell you how to make something?

    Write a paragraph about one of your interests or hobbies. Edit any sentences that do not begin with a capital letter and end with the correct punctuation.

    Write sentences using one word with long /a/ and one word with short/a. Read aloud the sentences to a family member.

    Write each vocabulary word on a slip of paper from this week’s story. On the back of each slip, use your own words to explain the meaning of the word. Test yourself on the words nightly.

    Write a paragraph explaining how you used decoding a new word with context clues to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word in your independent reading.

    Analyze causes and effects in your independent reading. Think about how these causes and effects relate to the main characters in the story.

    Interview a family member about their favorite sports team. Write a summary of their answers to your questions.

    Name the parts of speech with five new words from your independent reading.

    Check to see if you are correct by using the dictionary.

    Make a crossword puzzle from your independent reading. Arrange the words down and across, number them, and write a clue for each. Share with your teacher.

    List three predictions about what will happen next at the end of a chapter. After reading that chapter put a checkmark next to the predictions you were able to confirm.

    Compare and contrast the experiences of the main character in the story you are reading. Write a paragraph explaining these similarities and differences.

    On-Demand Writing: Write an essay about your greatest wish.

    Check to make sure all sentences have correct  punctuation.

    Write for thirty minutes.

    Write a one-paragraph biography of a family member. Circle the subject and underline predicate in each sentence.

    Write a rhyming poem. Use you Fundations words or Word study words for this week. Recite your poem to a family member.

    Make a list of questions you have as you read your independent reading. Read ahead to find answers and write them under the questions. Use post-its for this task.

    Respond to the genre. Write a paragraph about why you enjoy reading this genre.

    Choose from fiction or nonfiction genres.

    Write a newspaper article about a recent event. Use different colors to show the complete and simple subjects in each sentence.

    Read a biography. Identify features that make this biography different from other kinds of non-fiction.

    Write about these features in a brief paragraph.