Fun! For reading to become an activity that your child wants to participate in, it must be fun. Share books you both enjoy .
Read aloud to your child. Reading to your child opens a whole new world of language and literature. Listening enables children to appreciate books that are beyond their reading level even when they begin to read on her own. Set aside time to do this daily.
Become a mentor to your child. Find a book that you think your child would be interested and start reading it yourself. When you come to a particularly interesting part, read it out loud. Read that part of the book together, discuss it and expand upon it. Ask your child what his/her thoughts are. Put the book aside to allow the two of you to chat.
Find material on a topic that your child has a genuine interest in. Guinness World Records contains short sections that lead to wonder and awe… share them together. You may find that this type of reading goes on for many hours. How-to books… draw, build, make, cook, create … can lead to shared activities based on book sharing that are fun and educational.
Choose books that are not intimidating. Try a book that has been made into a film. Shrek (William Steig) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Judi Barrett) are short children’s books (under 35 pages with lots of illustrations). Explore these and compare the books to the movies. Get other books by that author to further your child’s appreciation of the author and what he/she’s written.
Start in the middle of the book. Read an exciting scene or fabulous description aloud and speculate on what will happen next or how it will end – read the last pages to see if you were right. Try another one!
Introduce a variety of materials. Magazines, graphic novels, comics… You can have a selection on hand for your child to choose from.
Use different media. Books on CD, downloadables, MP3CDs can inspire an interest in literature when sitting down with a book is too hard! Listen to them together on a long car ride, or while you’re getting supper ready. Listen and read along online with Tumblebook Library, then play online games based on the book.
Consult resources to find books to read. Ask library staff for suggestions and booklists. Check databases such as Novelist K-8. Check out the recommended books in the Kids Book Club and through the catalogue – kids love to know what other kids are reading.
Follow-up on any comments your child has made about books they have read. Show your child how to use the library catalogue for looking up books that are similar to others he/she’s liked.
Relax and have fun sharing reading adventures.