5 FAQs From Pam That Might Be Helpful to You

These are the most popular questions parents and caregivers ask me and I am sharing them here in hopes they can be helpful to you too!

1. Is it okay that my child wants to reread the same books every day?

Mostly, yes! At home rereading is an incredibly positive thing for a child to do. Rereading is comforting and reading should feel comforting, especially at home. Second, a child does a lot of work on rereading: the first read may be just to experience the plot and then the second, third and more readings are ways for the child to explore more deeply lots of different aspects of the book, everything from understanding the character better to absorbing all the cool things about language and grammar. But sometimes a strong impulse to reread means it’s time to refresh the home library and to give your child a chance to add to their experience with a new and exciting title. But the main thing is not to judge your child: most of the time, rereading is very natural and actually a very good thing for the child’s growing brain.

2. What should I do about the fact that my child does not seem to like reading?

Be a champion for your child and be open to listening and hearing why this is feeling hard. Ask questions like: “I’m noticing reading doesn’t seem fun for you. Can you tell me more about what’s not feeling good and how I can help?” Or “I’m curious about why reading doesn’t feel great. Can we go together to the bookstore or library or browse online to see about finding you books you will be sure to like?” Then, make sure you are truly giving your child choice in reading: don’t judge the kinds of books he or she selects; don’t say a book is too easy or too hard. At home reading should feel good and supported. Make time and ritual for reading for both of you. Don’t say your child should read but not put time in the calendar each day for you to both read. Sitting companionably together browsing through funny pictures of a book or sharing the riddles in a riddle book shows that you too get so much joy from this experience.

3. How many books should a child read in a year?

Let’s never count success by the numbers of books anyone reads! Some books are short, and some are long so there are months where I am only reading one book because it is long or because it is dense and takes me time. For some reason children are often evaluated based on numbers of words or pages or books but this is not a fair measure. Better we can try other ways of tracking if we want to. For example, we can invite our child to read as many books across genres as possible (such as poetry, nonfiction, fiction and opinion writing). We can invite a child to read as many different authors as possible. We can invite a child to see how many different types of texts he or she can read about different topics of passion.

4. My child only wants to read graphic novels. Is this okay?

Absolutely yes! Make at home reading experiences full of total joy. Reading with choice is critical to that. Also, graphic novels are amazing. There are so many great authors and artists working in this genre. Call attention to the art; don’t ignore it. You are covering two bases at once: an appreciation of story and also of the greatness of graphic book art.

5. What’s the best thing I can do to help my child grow as a reader?

The very best thing you can do is to love your child unconditionally and with the greatest generosity as you cultivate his or reading life. Compliment and affirm your child’s steps and show tenderness in the stumbles as your child learns as a reader. Create regular steady time to read aloud to your child. Show love in this way. Be abundant and generous in creating access to books for your child. Be your child’s greatest advocate and do not forget to take the time to sit and just enjoy what your child has to tell you about reading. Your listening and your love are the greatest gifts you can give.