Today’s our first day and the thing I want you to do with your child is read!
That’s right, snuggle up together in bed, on the sofa, in the hammock, on the porch swing, get wherever you can snuggle and get comfy. If you aren’t sure just how to read with your child check out my other post!
Choosing the right book is very important. It needs to be age-appropriate so here’s a list of what you should be looking for based on age:
under 4 – Read fun books. The pictures are just as important as the words. The books you choose for your young child should be engaging to their ears and their eyes. Check out my favorites and remember rhyming books are great too!
4 – 6 years – This is a tricky stage. Choose books that still have pictures, at least a few. This is also a great time to introduce LOTS of new things to read. There are chapter books, short books, comic books, magazines, non-fiction, silly books, joke books…. The list goes on.
At this age it’s okay to choose something to read together that won’t be finished in the first reading session. Our family loves reading chapter books a chapter or two each night as a family. If you choose to do that it’s great to read at a slightly higher reading level than you child can read alone. Don’t go too far though. If you choose a book that’s too far over your child’s reading level then you risk them not understanding what’s happening in the book. If you loose their interest then you loose them as a reader. Remember that you need to engage them. Some people believe in reading up but I say it’s okay to read down too. Our teens are very entertained by Junie B. Jones books still. They get way more of the jokes now too.
6 – 9 years – By the time your child is in this group, he/she should have the attention span and reading ability to go for the chapter books for sure. There are so many different options out there so take your kids to the library and help them start perusing the shelves in the kids’ area.
Don’t go to the computer and look for something specific. Wander around with your child and pick books off the shelves. Look at non-fiction too. Your child might be more interested in reading about the Titanic, Superman or rocks than Junie B. Jones. Let him/her choose at least five different books. Remember that you two are still reading one of them together so it might be a little harder. This is a great age for your child to be reading alone for at least 15 minutes every day as well as you guys reading together. Books that your child will be reading alone should be right at or a tiny bit lower than his/her reading level. You want that time to be enjoyable and if your child is struggling with words then he/she won’t want to read alone.
10 and up: If your child is over age 10 then he/she most likely reads alone. Though you should still be reading out loud with them often. This is a great age for having them read TO YOU! You can fold laundry or wash dishes in the evening while they read to you.
It’s harder to help them improve their reading skills unless they can see the point to it (besides school that is). Kids this age are old enough for you to be real with them so tell your child the truth. Reading is one of the most important things you will ever learn to do and it is nearly impossible to be successful in life without it. Practice reading as with all of the other age groups, the more your child reads the better and it doesn’t matter what so let him/her pick the material. It often helps if you have them practice reading out-loud! This is were younger siblings come in handy. Ask your older child to read to younger ones.