Helping Children Become Readers

Research says…

• Daily reading to your child supports the foundations of learning
• Daily reading to your child builds a literacy started at home
• Daily reading to your child develops the love of learning
• Daily reading to your child provides literacy models for children to practise
• Daily reading to your child builds self-esteem
Don’t forget the older students! Once your child is a fluent reader, reading together remains a valuable activity. Try reading a page to your child every now and then, or even every other page on a regular basis. Read newspaper or magazine articles of interest aloud to your preteen. Some families take turns reading aloud during long car rides. No matter what the age, it is important for students to often hear the cadence of words, the rhythm of dialogue and the rise and fall of the human voice. At Codrington, grades 1-3 are on an Every Night Reading Program. They should be reading up to 20 minutes at home every night. In grades 4-5, that time jumps to 30 minutes and to 45 minutes for grades 6-8.

Conditions for Reading

Reading is like any other skill. The more you practice, the easier it will become. And, if you enjoy it, you are more likely to practice. So, make reading a wonderful time for parent and child!

• Let the child choose the reading material, unless it has been assigned. Many boys prefer non-fiction and that is just fine.
• Sitting in close proximity to the child associates reading with warmth and security. If you are reading to the child, allow touching of the text and book for tactile learners.
• Read lots of things: storybooks, non-fiction books, magazines, newspapers, comic books, backs of cereal boxes, etc. Variety is important! (Having said that, it is also important to know that children sometimes want to read a favourite text over and over again. Go with it. This won’t last forever.)
• When finished reading, have your child tell you what was enjoyable about the text. Ask how the characters are alike or different. Have your child retell the plot in their own words.
• Hand your older student a mug of hot chocolate and tell him or her how proud you are that they are reading and ask to hear a favourite part.
• Although there doesn’t have to be a special place for reading, it helps if it is fairly free from distraction. The TV is very competitive with a reader and it should be off during this time.