Questions Parents Ask About Schools
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Helping with Reading

How can I encourage my child to read?

  • Read aloud to your child often. Start reading to your child when he is a baby and keep reading as he grows up. As you read, talk with your child. Encourage him to ask questions and to talk about the story. Ask him to predict what will come next.

  • Encourage your child to read on her own. Children who spend at least 30 minutes a day reading for fun develop the skills to be better readers at school.

  • Set aside quiet time for family reading. Some families even enjoy reading aloud to each other, with each family member choosing a book, story, poem or article to read to the others.

  • Helping children become—and remain—readers is the single most important thing that parents and families can do to help their children succeed in school and in life.
  • Visit the library often. Begin making weekly trips to the library when your child is very young. See that your child gets his own library card as soon as possible.

  • Buy a children's dictionary and start the "let's look it up" habit.

  • Make writing materials, such as crayons, pencils and paper, available.

  • Ask family members and friends to consider giving your child books and magazine subscriptions as gifts for birthdays or other special occasions. Set aside a special place for your child to keep her own library of books.

  • Get help for your child if he has a reading problem. If you think that your child needs extra help, ask his teachers about special services, such as after-school or summer reading programs. Also ask teachers or your local librarian for names of community organizations and local literacy volunteer groups that offer tutoring services.

  • If you are uncomfortable with your reading ability, look for family or adult reading programs in your community. Your librarian can help you locate such programs. Friends and relatives also can read to your child, and volunteers are available in many communities to do the same.

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Last Modified: 08/26/2005