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Ideas to help your child become a good reader - and enjoy reading!

Everyone wants their child to succeed, and being able to read well is very important to do well in school and beyond. But we also want our children to enjoy reading rather than see it as a chore or something that they have to do.

1) Talk to your child and interact with them verbally. Yes, I know this is supposed to be about reading! But it turns out that the more you talk to your child, the better their language skills will be. Their first language skills lay the foundation for later skills, such as reading.

2) Learn how to help your child develop pre-reading skills - see my article "Help develop your child's pre-reading skills"

3) Read to your child a lot! Start as early as you can. Reading to a child helps in many ways. It helps build their vocabulary, it shows them that reading is fun, and introduces them to how books work.

4) Keep lots of books around the house. Books for both grown-ups and kids. If you can't afford to buy them, borrow a lot from libraries. Or look for discounted books. Target has a great $1 section with books for kids. Our local grocery store and Walgreens every so often will sell some books that are heavily discounted. Great books too! Look at yard sales, estate sales, etc. If you are only looking to save a little bit of money, many times Amazon has the same books as other stores but at a lower price. Check E-Bay.

5) Keep at least some of those books in places easy for your child to access. Even if they have no pictures - they may still pique their interest.

6) Take your child to the library often.

7) Talk about all the cool and interesting things you have read in books. Tell them about books you read when you were their age.

8) Take them to a library or bookstore 'story hour'. There they will see other adults reading and kids listening.

9) Consider getting them a subscription to a children's magazine like one of the ones from National Wildlife or Highlights (which by the way is much better than it used to be when I was a kid - I thought they sucked!).

10) Host a book club at your house. Find a way to keep your child busy, but not so busy they don't notice the adults talking about books.

For more information please take a look at some of my other articles about reading:

How to best read to your child

Help develop your child's pre-reading skills

Ideas for books that offer interactive features and engage other senses

Help your child learn the alphabet

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