Friday, February 4, 2011

How do I get my child to want to read?

Ms. Dorothy,
My daughter's teacher wants her to do more reading at home because she is below grade level in reading.  I've tried taking her to the library to find books at her level, but I can't seem to make her read them.  What else can I do?
- 3rd grade Mom

The library is a great start! 

Third grade is a pivotal time when reading focus changes from learning to read, to reading to learn. Right now is when making up lost ground can make the biggest difference in school success.

See if  you can find books about things she is interested in. Even if they are at a more challenging reading level than she can handle alone.

Try reading with her: it is amazing what a huge difference a little time spent with a book and someone you love can make in a child's attitude toward reading.  

You can read aloud to her and talk about books that are above her reading level, and you can support her reading a book by reading alongside her and helping her when she comes to sticky parts.  

When she finds something that interests her and is at her level, ask her to read aloud to you and talk about it with her.  Then try having her read on her own and come back and tell you about it.  

I've posted some other suggestions about making sure your children see you reading so they have a good role model at home, and there is some research that suggests having lots of books in the home makes a difference. 

Building toward independence by building up a desire to share reading is time well spent right now.

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