Tips for Parents on Raising Strong Readers
- Provide a wide variety of reading materials at home, including books, magazines, and newspapers, covering different topics of interest.
- Set aside a daily time when everyone reads - turn off the TV, the video games and the computer.
- Make sure all the adults in the house read regularly and discuss what they read with each other, so your kids have reading role models.
- Read to your kids and also have them read to you - whether it's their favorite comic strip or an essay they wrote at school - long after the lower elementary grades.
- Encourage your kids to visit their school and public libraries often for new reading selections.
- Encourage your kids to participate in programs at the local public library, especially during the summer.
- Before or after seeing a movie, read the book version together and discuss the similarities and differences.
- Encourage kids to bring books and magazines to read while traveling or waiting for appointments.
- Listen to audiobooks (available at most public libraries) during family car trips.
- Purchase books or bookstore gift cards as gifts for your kids.
- Support reading selections - never ridicule.
- Always allow choice in book selection.
- Do not dismiss comic books or graphic novels as junk literature.
Note: Many of these tips appear in and/or are adapted from Boys and Literacy: Practical Strategies for Librarians, Teachers, and Parents by Elizabeth Knowles and Martha Smith (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2005).