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Helping Your Child Love to Read

Unfortunately, some children find reading to be a chore. The process of decoding letters and their sounds, along with the many rules and exceptions that the English language includes may discourage some children from loving reading. The following tips may inspire your children to read.

  • Let your child choose the books he likes including joke books, graphic novels, comic books, or picture books. Your child needs to feel comfortable with a certain reading level before he voluntarily moves on. It is alright if your child rereads the same book. Each time he reads it he will discover something new and it will give him more confidence the next time he tries a new title.
  • Some children have trouble connecting with stories if they have nothing in common with the characters. Let them choose stories they can relate to. Reading about a subject of interest is more appealing than having to read about a dry topic. If your child has been to camp and would like to read about someone else’s camp adventures let her read about them. If he enjoys baseball, find sports books. Show him the sports page in the newspaper and read it together.
  • While your child is watching television or a dvd, have him or her read the closed captions. Pause the movie if it’s moving too rapidly. This form of reading helps children with word recognition since one cannot always sound out every word.
  • Read aloud with your child. Have her read a page and then you read a page. By alternating back and forth, it takes some of the pressure off of her. Stop reading at a very exciting part and tell her that you’ll continue later. She may not be able to wait for your return and read on by herself.
  • Have your child read as he listens to the accompanying audio book. Comprehension improves when you use two senses simultaneously. The Islip Library has many titles available in CD format, and you can download many audiobooks onto various devices of your own at no charge through the Islip Library website: www.isliplibrary.org (please call us or visit a reference desk if you’d like to learn how to do this)
  • Let your child see you reading and enjoying books, magazines, and newspapers. Tell him how and why you enjoy reading every day. Talk with him or her about what you’re reading. Bake together and ask your child to read the recipe aloud so you can gather the ingredients and determine the measurements.
  • Give books as gifts. Have your child choose a book as a gift for someone else.
  • Children like to read books that tie in with TV shows or movies; the Islip Library has quite a few of these books.
  • Play board games like Scrabble or Boggle with your child. Board and word games are helpful in building vocabulary and improving spelling.
  • Subscribe to a magazine that your child has an interest in. Children love to receive mail.
  • Some children need additional help in learning to read. Ask your child’s teacher or doctor for resources. We are fortunate to have reading teachers in the Islip School district who can assist your child.

Libraries are an excellent resource for finding books or downloads on almost every topic. A children’s librarian will be happy to find a “just right” book for your child. Stop in and visit us!

Jane Hoffman

Jane Hoffman

Jane Hoffman, Head of our Children’s Department became a librarian in 2004, realizing it was the career for her after spending much time with her children at her own public library. She collects antique “story buttons” – making them into jewelry and displaying them. She loves reading historical fiction, hiking, visiting art museums, and watching movies with her family. Click here to subscribe to Jane Hoffman's blog posts!

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