One of the most important things you can do to help your child succeed in school is to raise them to love reading. Kids who are exposed to reading at an early age and read more as they grow up do better in school across a wide range of measures. Here's what to do:
1 | Start early
Start reading aloud to your children every day, even before they can talk. Their little brains are busy soaking in all those words! If a toddler wants to read the same book over and over, that’s perfectly fine (though it may drive you a little crazy).
2 | Read every day
Make reading a daily habit. Read aloud with your kids at least 15 minutes per day. If you’re short on time, try having older siblings read to younger children, or listen to audiobooks on the go.
3 | Keep books around
Keep books in your home and in the car. Make a regular trip to the library part of your family routine, like going to the grocery store. When your child is old enough to get a library card of their own, make a big deal of it!
4 | Let kids choose
They tend to read more when they get to choose their books. Steer them toward “just right” books—not too easy, not too hard. For help choosing books or finding others your child might enjoy, ask a teacher or librarian.
5 | Model good reading habits
Read for yourself and talk about the books you’re reading. Ask questions about what older children are reading on their own. Who are the characters? What’s happening in the story?
6 | Keep it fun!
Reading together should be a fun, treasured activity that gives you time with your kids. Pick great stories you can get lost in together. If it feels like work, something’s wrong — try a different book or a different time. If your kids enjoy reading, they’ll read more. And the more they read, the more they’ll love it.