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Older Preschoolers:

5 Tips to Grow a Good Reader


Q. I know that if my child is a good reader, the rest will follow in terms of academic success. How can I make sure my child really likes to read, and is good at it? She is 3. I have very little extra time or money.


Here are five tips assembled by writer Payal Uttum, with some recommended books that will make for some enjoyable reading experiences for you and your child together.


1. Pay attention to your child's interests. If your child is fascinated by dinosaurs, check out from the children's section of the library some science books describing different dinosaur types. A child is more inclined to read if he or she is interested in a book's subject matter.


2. Show your child that reading is fun. Play games with your child after she finishes reading and ask her to retell stories. Children can learn about structure and how stories come together by talking about a story and re-telling it in their own words.


3. Use bedtime bribes. Allow children to stay up for an extra 15 minutes if they promise to spend that time reading. Once a child starts reading, he discovers his interests. Soon he will no longer need an extra incentive to read.


4. Practice what you preach. Be a role model for your child by reading regularly and encourage all family members to read. Let your young child "catch" you reading for fun, to learn things you need to know, or to perform a task. Young children mimic the behavior of their older family members. Children will be more inclined to pick up a book if they see their brothers and sisters reading.


5. Set a family reading time. Not only will this set a good example for your child, but it will help enhance reading skills and build concentration while minimizing time-wasting distractions in your home. Turn off the TV, and read! Family reading time ensures that you will be around to help if she is having difficulties with vocabulary or sentence structure.


Recommended Books for a Trip to the Library or Children's Bookstore:

And If the Moon Could Talk by Kate Banks, Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1998.
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long, Harcourt Children"s Books, 2003.
David Goes to School by David Shannon, Blue Sky Press, 1999.
Curious George by H. A. Rey, Houghton Mifflin, 1973.
Daisy and the Egg by Jane Simmons, Little Brown & Company, 1999.


Homework: Here's a great book from an excellent reading guru, Diane McGuinness: Growing a Reader From Birth: Your Child's Path From Language to Literacy. From those first darling coo's in the crib, to the big leap into reading and writing years later, it helps you to know how babies link language to reading, especially in that huge transition between preschool and regular school. There are good tips inside for facilitating your child's early learning experiences and being as good a nurturer of reading as you are for every other facet of your child's life.


By Susan Darst Williams Ages & Stages 102 2008


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