Your child walks like you, talks like you, absorbs everything you do. So set the right example when it comes to reading.
- Surround yourself with reading material. Books don't belong only in libraries and classrooms. Make the written word a part of your living space, with books, magazines, and newspapers readily available throughout your home.
- Draw attention to all the things you read. Provide a bibliography for the things you talk about: When you explain why the sky is blue or who the first president of the United States was, tell your child which book helps you know these facts. you'll show him how knowledge is largely shaped by the things we read and how reading connects us to the world.
- Buy or borrow books together. Whenever you're going to the library or bookstore, let your child come along. Even if you aren't looking for anything in particular, practice the art of book browsing and admiring. Make an event out of it and she'll learn to be exhilarated by the sight of books.
- Don't be a solo reader. Open up conversations through reading by pausing to read an interesting fact aloud or wonder what an unfamiliar word means. Knowing that the reading experience is not a solitary activity will motivate reluctant readers.
- Read for leisure. Show that reading isn't work. Cuddle up with a good book and you'll model how reading can be just the thing to make your day.
- Bring something to read everywhere you go. From the office to home, or even the living room to the bedroom, make sure you're equipped with reading material — for yourself and your child. You never know when you'll have some downtime. Show him that reading is a constructive (and fun!) way to pass the time.
- Emphasize the universal importance of reading. Librarians, teachers, students, mechanics, lawyers, doctors, architects, athletes . . . everyone reads. Show your child that reading is part of everyone's life by reading diverse works that serve different purposes. Consider cookbooks, television manuals, online magazines, and cereal boxes. Make a habit out of living through reading.