Checking in with teacher-assigned reading is helpful for knowing what books are required by the curriculum — and on the summer reading list next year. But it’s also important to ask teachers how your child’s reading development is progressing, where their strengths and weaknesses might be, and what subjects they are embracing most.
“I always ask my daughter, ‘What are you learning about in school?’” says Laura Banfield, a parent of a 3-year-old and 6-year-old in Florida. “And also, ‘What made you smile today? What do you want to learn more about?’”
Pay close attention to what your child is reading at home. Start a conversation with your child about what they like about these books. This not only helps inform you of their current interests, but also challenges the child to articulate their opinions and test their reading comprehension.
“I generally ask my children what they like about the book that they are currently reading and enjoying,” says Kimberly Greacen, a parent of a 4-year-old and 8-year-old. “Knowing what they like about it — adventure, dragons, fantasy — is helpful in choosing new books for them.”
By reinforcing the importance of regular reading and providing steady access to books — a must for raising a reader — you will see your child’s interests deepen and expand.
“I am always looking for new books that will challenge my child as a reader, but will also be interesting and super engaging,” says Greacen. “I want him to both enjoy what he is reading and be challenged by it.”
As a parent, you are constantly modeling behaviors for your child — which includes reading behaviors. Many of the titles you introduce to your young reader will leave a lasting impact, so it’s worth considering characters that model a world your child is interested in.
It can also be helpful to look toward what your child's friends are reading, since these are the books that will spark conversations among their peer groups.
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