Even if your child is motivated to read, supporting her in a variety of ways will keep her momentum going. Here are five tips to open up the wonderful world of reading for your child.
1. What’s “Just Right”? Children feel confident and competent when they read books that are “just right.” But how do you find a “just right” book? Have your child read the back and front cover, and the first page of the book. If there are more than five words that he cannot pronounce or understand in context, the book may be too challenging. Be supportive about finding a more perfect fit. Choosing the right book will help your little reader feel successful.
Book Pick: Find a set of titles that will support your child as she grows as a reader. Owl Diaries is a popular series within Scholastic's book line Branches aimed to help your child as she grasps independent reading. From text that advances as she does matched with fun plots and lovely illustrations waiting on every page, your reader will be excited to keep turning the page.
2. Card Tricks. Do you think effective reading only takes place at libraries and bookstores? Think again! There are reading opportunities everywhere. Go to a greeting card store with your child and read the cards together. Later, vote for the ones whose words convey the best birthday wish or just thinking of you sentiment.
Book Pick: Scholastic Early Learners: Flashcards: 50 Sight Words combines sight words with physical flashcards to turn your child's learning into a fun and interactive game. By beginning to associate certain pictures with simple words, your growing learner can memorize what words mean while seeing colorful images and clear letters. Plus, the flashcards are super-sized for little hands to grab onto.
3. Picture This! During your next outing or gathering, take action-packed photos, then have your child create captions to go with each picture. Assemble the pictures and captions in a picture book or album, and add speech and thought bubbles to create a personalized—and probably hysterical—graphic novel.
Book Pick: Picture taking just reached a new level with stop-motion! Klutz: LEGO Make Your Own Movie: 100% Official LEGO Guide to Stop-Motion Animation will turn your child's photos into a mini movie full of action-packed awesome. Your little director can follow instructions to practice important language skills while learning all about the tricks of the movie trade.
4. Last Comic Standing. Take time to read and enjoy comic strips together. Share favorites from your own childhood and have your child put his favorites on the fridge. Read them aloud, and often—repetition is a great way to build reading skills. Soon, he’ll love looking forward to the “Sunday funnies” each week.
Book Pick: The Captain Underpants #1-5 Full Color Pack is sure to get a laugh with your reader. From goofy hijinks with George and Harold to tackling evil villains, your child can follow adventure after adventure with this series. Plus, each book is full of kooky illustrations and easy-to-read text combining the style of a graphic novel with the challenge of a beginner chapter book.
5. Become a Fan. Your reader will soon develop a love for particular authors and illustrators. Nurture her fan-ship by helping her write a letter to her favorite author. Many authors have their own websites with contact information. You can also contact the book’s publisher; the mailing address for which can often be found on the back of the title page or on the publisher’s website.
Book Pick: Kimberly and James Dean are behind the beloved character Pete the Cat. After your child gets done with Pete the Cat and the New Guy and the rest of this bestselling series, try writing the Dean dynamic duo. Not only will it bring Pete to life, but between sight word recognition in these silly picture books and letter-writing practice, your child will boost important skills.