In the last post, I discussed ideas for parents of small children to encourage reading and to help develop a desire to read that will hopefully follow the child throughout school. Today, I'd like to share ideas for parents of elementary aged children. While some of the suggestions in my last post apply to this age group as well, these suggestions are more tailored to children who can read on their own.
*Read aloud to your child - Often when school-aged children start reading on their own, parents quit reading aloud to them. However, it is a good idea for parents to continue reading aloud at this age. Select more difficult books for your child to read aloud than books your child would read on his/her own. Doing so can help your child develop new vocabulary, learn new concepts, and discover new ways of telling stories or presenting information. It is also good for self-esteem if he or she is able to get through a more challenging book, albeit with a little help now and then from mom or dad.
*Allow your child to choose books for summer reading - Even if your child has required summer reading for school to complete, it is still beneficial to allow your child to select what he or she wants to read as well. Let your child explore topics that interest him or her. Making the required summer reading a chore will not encourage your child to develop a love of reading. However, allowing your child to choose his/her own books to read as well will help spark interest in reading that the required summer reading list may not.
*Remember that all summer reading doesn't have to be books - There are all kinds of great magazines for children. Check out Highlights or Ranger Rick, for example.
*Read a book and watch the movie together - When you finish reading and watching, discuss the similarities and differences and talk about which version you and your child prefer.