Thursday, July 5, 2012

Raise a Reading Superstar!

We are a family of readers and books hold a lot of clout in our house. I am often asked how it is that L is such a lover of books (and treats them so reverently) at the tender age of not-quite-nineteen months old. The truth is, since before L even joined us in the world of oxygen breathers, we were reading to her. One of the first things we did with her after she was born was read. We've been reading nearly nonstop ever since. When I get asked how to raise a reader, I have lots of advice to offer. Heck, sometimes I'm not even asked. I just love books and there are lots of things parents can do to raise superstar readers.  Mostly parents need to be reading superstars themselves first. Kids emulate that which is modeled for them, so if you want to raise a reader, a reader you must be.

Ways to Be a Good Reading Model for Your Kid:

Let your child SEE you reading. And read varied materials: books, newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes, anything with print.

Let your child HEAR you reading. All of the above, plus traffic signs, labels at the grocery store, letters and emails, advertisements...all types of environmental print.

Show your child that reading is a priority. Make time in your schedule for shared and independent reading. Have a family reading night in your weekly household schedule. Attend family story times at your local libraries and bookstores.

Limit screen time. TV takes away loads of time that could be spent reading. Let your child know through your words and actions that reading takes precedence over television.

Give books as gifts to your own child and encourage him or her to pick books to gift to friends and family for special occasions. Discuss what a gift reading is and encourage your child to share that gift with others.

Participate in reading programs at your child's school or at your local library.

Teach your child the value of the public library. It is a treasure trove of resources and costs little to nothing. Get your child a library card in his or her own name.

Donate books to your child's classroom in honor of his or her birthday. If your child doesn't have a formal classroom, you can donate books to gift giving organizations such as Angel Tree or Toys for Tots, or choose an organization that supports child literacy, such as First Book or Reading is Fundamental.

Get involved in a book swap (for an explanation, click here). These handy little programs can be done within a group of friends and for the cost of just one book, your child can expand his or her library by dozens.

READ, READ, READ!! This is, of course, the most important thing to do when cultivating a reading superstar. A love of reading is fostered early, and kids learn by what is modeled for them. Show them how much pleasure comes with reading a book and they will associate that pleasure with the books you share with them.


  1. This is a great post. Modeling it is so important. I love how you are engaging her.

  2. These are awesome tips! Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Showcase Sunday.

  3. Reading is wonderful ~ it opens up the world :-) I've always loved reading (still do) and it is such fun to share that love with my kids! Love the tips you shared, and thanks for sharing at Happy Family Times!!

  4. Some great ideas here. I especially struggle with letting my son seeing me read - I never have time during the day, so wait till he's in bed before I sit down with a book - this has def given me an incentive!

    Thanks for linking up to the Sunday Showcase - hope to see you there again next week!


  5. There are some great tips here. I need to make more of an effort to prioritise reading over TV time. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing on Kids Co-op

  6. Fantastic roundup of tips. And I L-O-V-E the title of your post.

    Reading out loud is an easy and incredibly effective way of showing your child the importance of reading. I'm always blown away but how much of my day I spend actually reading when I take the time to read things out loud for my sons. I read the directions on Tylenol bottles, I read emails and Facebook posts... The list is impressive.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm pinning it!!

    Malia {Playdough to Plato}

  7. This is a great post. The pictures show that reading is fun in your home. Artsy Play Wednesday starts tomorrow on Capri + 3, a new weekly linky party for posts about arts, crafts and play activities. I hope you'll stop by and link to this post (and any other posts related to the theme).

    : 0 ) Theresa

  8. These are some great tips for raising a reader. Thank you for sharing at Saturday Show and Tell! I hope you'll be back this week.

  9. What a wonderful post!! You shared many great tips. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!