Back To School: Get Ready To Read

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Last Updated: Monday, July 26, 2010

Many parents help their children learn to read, which helps children have a more successful school experience.

1. Start young. In just a few months, an infant can sit with you, look at pictures, and hear your voice. Point and name familiar objects at home.
2. Vary the tone of your voice, sing nursery rhymes, bounce your knee, and make funny faces. Use other special effects to stimulate your baby's interests.
3. Allow your child to touch and hold sturdy cardboard books.
4. When reading to your baby, be brief, but read as often as you can.
5. When reading to your child, follow the words with your finger so that your child learns to follow from left to right.
6. In early reading, the rhyme is a way for children to enjoy the repetition of the sound of language.
Older Children
7. Encourage reading for the fun of it as a free-time activity, and keep books in your home.
8. Talk and listen to your children. Language is like a four-legged stool: speaking, listening, reading, and writing are its parts, and each supports the other.
9. Read with your children every chance you get—even if it's just part of a newspaper article at the breakfast table, and turn off the TV when you do it.
10. Set the example; be sure your children see you reading and understand that you read for enjoyment and to get needed information.
11. Monitor your children's schoolwork and applaud their efforts.
12. Parents for whom English is a second language are encouraged to read to their child in their first language.

For more information, order Helping Your Child Learn to Read by the U.S. Department of Education, at 1-800-USA-LEARN

The National Reading Panel produces objective reports about what works and what doesn't in reading.

Source: Florida Department of Education