For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


One of the milestones in the development of our children is when they start to read. My 4 1/2 year old can read at a grade 2 level, and I have to say that I played a small part in that achievement. Want to know what I did? Here are a few pointers:

  • Surround your house with books: It has been said over and over that your baby, toddler and preschooler need to be surrounded with print, well there is much truth to it. My husband read recently about Dana Gioiea, who is the chairman of the national endowment for the Arts in the US,  who said that though his parents did not read much, because his family had inherited a huge library, his constant exposure to books contributed to his lifelong interest in literature and his career as a respected poet. Our house is full of books, almost every corner in the house has books in it. Some of our walls have printed material taped on them as well.

  • READ READ READ: Here is another well known habit that enhances your child picking up on reading. My DH is an avid reader. If he is not helping around the house, he is reading a book. Your children need to see you (or both of you even better) reading often.

  • READ to them: Next is the habit of your child exposure to print through hearing. Reading to your child has countless benefits, one of them being getting your child familiar to the sound of language and making the connection between print and sound. Read their favorite stories over and over, read new books on subjects your child loves (in the case of our son it was about trains; I think we've borrowed from the library over 3/4 of the resources they have on train for his age)

  • Let them watch good TV shows that promote reading, phonics and the likes (that is if you do not object to TV): good ones are Blue's Clues, Super Why, Between the Lions, and Sesame Street.

  • Let them play games that promotes literacy. There are some good ones on the internet like Starfall, Literactive (see links in my educational site list), Leapfrog games. Make your own matching games with cardboard for letters and words.
These are just a few pointers, but I have to say I have a 2 1/2 year old who is well on his way to reading and these are the things that are practiced at our home. Both my boys love books and have no problem picking up a book to read on their own. Here they are in action.

The older one with a Thomas the Tank Engine book in full thinking mode:

and the younger one with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom:

Your turn. What did you do in your home to encourage reading?

1 comment:

lexi said...

Those are great tips. We LOVE to read at our house. My 2 and a half year old constantly brings us books to read to her. I think she'll be an early reader!!! I never really thought about how important it is for the kids to see US reading. But I have to say I nixed TV around here. So many shows are too "politically correct" for us. Why not just keep them fun and simple learning shows?

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