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“Helping Your Child Learn”

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Parent tips from the Utah Education Association

Reading and Writing – Raising Readers
By Kathy Christiansen, sixth-grade reading, writing and social studies teacher at Cedar Ridge Middle School, Hyde Park, Utah

By encouraging children to read, parents can assure school success. It is never too early to start reading to a child. Even newborns react to hearing their parents read. So, begin sharing bedtime stories with newborns. Then, continue reading together even when the child learns to read. As you read, always make your voice animated by using different voices for the different characters and emotions in the story. Ask questions about the reading and listen intently to your child’s answers. Oftentimes, children’s thoughts and ideas are ‘magical.’ Make each reading time special. Turn off the television, move away from the computer, and put the music player and headphones in the drawer. Then, cuddle together in a comfortable spot so your child will associate reading with feeling secure and loved.

Whenever you go places, take along your children’s favorite books. Read in the car, on the bus, or in waiting rooms. Get a library card and visit the library often. Let children peruse the aisles of books and select a variety of books to check out and take home. Children love having new stories read to them.

Finally, be a role model by letting your child see you read. When they see you enjoy reading, they will learn it is a fountain of knowledge and fun. With just a few minutes a day focused on reading, parents can raise readers.