Stress-Free Ways to Raise a Reader

The gift of education is priceless. Raising your child to be a reader teaches him or her that learning never stops. Long after graduation, books, newspapers, and high-quality magazines will open the doors to the world for your child. Raising a lifelong reader is a journey that starts at birth, although it’s never too late to start. Your child’s preschool teacher in Islip Terrace will be happy to give you some suggestions for age-appropriate books that kids love.

Establish a reading routine.

Most parents know that it’s important to read with children every day, but many of them still don’t. One of the challenges of daily reading is the lack of time. In the midst of work, school, and household tasks, it’s stressful to carve out time to read with the kids every day. Fortunately, even 15 minutes of reading each day will support a child’s healthy development and education. It’s perfectly fine to break up reading time into two or more sessions. Spend a few minutes reading with your child before preschool, and read again before bedtime.

Use the CAR method.

The quality of time spent with books shouldn’t be overlooked in favor of quantity. To truly learn and be engaged, kids need an interactive reading experience. Use the CAR method, which stands for: Comment, ask, and respond. Make a comment about the story or an illustration. Wait for your child to respond. Then, ask a question and wait for your child’s answer. The third step is your response to what your child says. Here’s an example:

  • Adult: “That turtle in the picture sure looks happy.”
  • Child: “It ate a bug.”
  • Adult: “What color is the turtle?”
  • Child: “Green.”
  • Adult: “It’s a pretty shade of green. I also see some brown on the shell.”

Give your child a mobile library.

Reading isn’t an activity that must be confined to a living room or bedroom. Give your child a small backpack with a couple of books inside. Encourage him or her to take the mobile library to doctor’s appointments, the supermarket, and anywhere else your child travels with you. Take the books out and spend a few minutes reading with your child while waiting in line or in the waiting room.