Nurturing a Reader

By Michele Robert Poche

Reading, writing and arithmetic … these skills represent the foundation of all learning.  Is any one more important than another?  Answer this question: can you write or solve a word problem without the ability to read?  Exactly.  I think that’s why it comes first. 

But not every child is interested in curling up with a good book each night.  Some of us (if I’m being honest) need a little nudge to start turning the pages.

Read quietly together. 
It doesn’t matter when or how long.  The important thing is that everyone is reading something on his own for this period of time.

Read aloud together. 
This group activity allows her to ask questions about tricky plot points or confusing vocabulary words.  Understanding is the gateway to enjoying.

Allow him to pick his own book. 
If you’re concerned about his selection, offer a menu of titles from which he can choose.  Feeling in control, as always, can work wonders.

Select titles that have been adapted for the big screen. 
A movie night is a surefire incentive to propel her through the pages of a great book.  Don’t forget the popcorn!

Make reading material accessible. 
Books and magazines should be stashed everywhere from his bedroom and breakfast spot to the car and even the bathroom.

Read and read again. 
We enjoy movies, songs and TV shows more than once. Why not books, too?  Familiarity will breed fluency in her word recognition and pronunciation.

Get technology on your side. 
Instead of being the competition, electronics can actually be your BFF.  Play an audiotape and let him follow along with a paper copy.

Subscribe to a children’s magazine. 
Not every reading session has to be Shakespeare.  Pick a topic she loves and find a publication about it. 

Reading Suggestions!

J.K. Rowling’s
Harry Potter series has remained on the children’s bestseller list for more than a decade.  You won’t regret meeting the boy who lived. 

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqeline Woodson won both the National Book Award and Newbery Honor with its stunning, autobiographical poetry on the Civil Rights movement. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is extremely relatable, almost painfully so. 


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