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Reading with Elementary Kids

Encourage Your Child to Read Another One

Find ways to encourage your child to keep reading.  If he or she likes one book, find another book with a similar subject or by the same author.  Ask a librarian or a teacher for suggestions.

Take Turns Reading

Once your child can read, have him or her read aloud to you every day.  You can take turns--you read one page and your child reads the next. 

Make Connections to Your Child's Life

Help your child make connections between what he or she reads in books and what happens in life.  If you're reading a book about a family, for example, talk about how what happens in the story is the same or different from what happens in your family.

Give Your Child an Incentive to Read

At bedtime, encourage your child to read.  Offer a choice between reading or sleeping.  Most kids will choose to read, as long as you don't offer something more tempting (like TV).

Try Different Types of Books and Magazines

Encourage your child to read different types of books, articles, or stories.  Some kids, especially boys, prefer nonfiction books.  Other like children's magazines.

Turn on Closed Captioning on Your Television

When watching a television show with your child, try turning on the closed captioning channel.  This shows the words the characters are speaking on the television screen.  Some people find it's a good way to learn English!

Surround Your Child with Books

Try to have books in your home for your child to read.  Books from a bookstore can be expensive, but there are places where you can get inexpensive books, such as second hand bookstores, garage sales, thrift stores, and library books sales.  And of course, borrowing books from the library is free!

Let Your Child Choose

Let your child pick out his or her own books.  Letting your child read what interests him or her is one way that reading becomes fun.

Make Reading Special

Do things that will make books and reading seem special.  Help your child get his or her own library card, buy books and books-on-tape as gifts, and use books as rewards.

Ask Your Child Questions

Discuss what's happening in the story and point out things on the page.  Ask your child questions such as:  "What do you think will happen next?" or "What is this?"

Let Your Child Ask You Questions

If your child asks a question, stop and answer even if it interrupts the story.  Find ways to talk about how the story relates to your child's life. 

Read it Again and Again

Your child may want to hear a favorite story over and over.  Go ahead and read the same book for the 100th time!  This is beneficial for your child.

Let Your Child Tell You the Story

Many children memorize stories they've heard many times.  Let your child take a turn "reading" the book to you.