10 Tips for Parents of School-Age Children

  1. Read aloud with and to your child every day
    • Experts recommend 30 minutes a day
    • Pick books that are too long or difficult for your child to read on his own
    • Choose genres that your child prefers

  2. Create a print rich home environment
    • Include both books (and books on tape) and writing materials
    • Include newspapers and child-oriented versions of popular magazines (e.g., Time for Kids, National Geographic for Kids)
    • Set aside a special reading area in your home and make sure everyone uses it

  3. Model reading and writing
    • Make use of the family reading area on your own
    • Let your child see you reading for work or to learn something
    • Let your child see you reading for pleasure

  4. Read and write with your children in your home language
    • Let your child see you reading and writing in the language(s) which are most comfortable to you
    • Stock your home library with books in English and books in your home language
    • Let your child read at home for fun in whichever language she prefers

  5. Cook with your child to develop literacy
    • Read recipes together
    • Read the labels on ingredients together
    • Make a family cookbook of favorite recipes

  6. Explore books together
    • Ask your child questions
    • Point out new vocabulary and ideas
    • Explore the characters motivations and relate them to your family's life

  7. Tell stories together
    • Talk together about your family history and perhaps, do a genealogy chart
    • Look at old vacation photos and discuss your memories of the trip
    • Tape your storytelling

  8. Write with your child
    • Provide lots of writing materials and papers
    • Encourage your child to draw and write on her own
    • Encourage your child to write thank you notes to grandparents, make to do lists, write signs such as "Tory's room keep out!" and the like

  9. Communicate regularly with your child's teacher about his literacy development
    • Find out what is happening at school
    • Ask questions about your child and what you can do to support her
    • Volunteer and/or observe in your child's classroom

  10. Visit the library often
    • Encourage your child to get her own library card
    • Take advantage of library programs such as family book clubs
    • Find out who are your child's favorite authors and genres and go with him to the library in search of interesting books

Source: Reading is Fundamental

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