Posted Feb 28, 2019
As we prepare to honor the legendary Dr. Seuss, it seems like the perfect time to ask what makes a life-long reader? After all, Dr. Seuss’ books have been read and loved for generations. Actually, some of his most treasured books like Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham were written in response to failing reading scores among American children. Seuss and his publishers believed they had answer questions raised in the 1955 book Why Johnny Can’t Read and What you Can Do About it. Seuss believed if Johnny couldn’t read it was because following Dick and Jane and seeing Spot run weren’t igniting a passion for books. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. It should be a joy. So he created colorful characters and books filled with word play. Dr. Seuss understood that if children enjoyed books they would become strong and successful readers.
That theory has stood the test of time and been validated through research. It doesn’t matter at what age children start to read independently. It is the love of books and reading that creates life-long readers. So how, can parents nurture that love of literature in their own children?
READ daily beginning when your children are babies. Long before those little hands can hold a book or little eyes can recognize words on a page, children are developing early literacy skills. Make reading part of your daily routine. Books = Bonding. Make it a special time the two of you share. Those warm cozy feelings about books will last as your children grow. Don’t stop sharing books together when your children start to read on their own. Continue to share books through reading together, reading the same book and talking about it or listening to an audiobook together.
BE A ROLE MODEL. Let your children see your joy of reading whether it’s pleasure reading, or a newspaper or magazine. Let them also see the practical value by reading signs, labels, and instructions.
CONNECT BOOKS WITH OTHER PLEASURABLE ACTIVITIES. Follow up a trip to the zoo, museum or vacation spot with related books (or read them ahead of time.) Find books about favorite sports, animals, hobbies and experiences.
VISIT THE LIBRARY AND BOOKSTORES to expose children to a variety of reading materials.
ALLOW CHILDREN TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN READING MATERIAL but also take the Sam-I-Am role. Introduce and encourage a variety of books.
TALK TO YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER OR A READING SPECIALIST if your child seems to be struggling with the mechanics of reading. Keep their interest in books strong by reading to them and with them.
For more suggestions on Raising a Reader –
Please join us for our Seuss Celebration Saturday March 2 – 10:30 – 12:30 a.m. – featuring Celebrity Readers, Seuss-tastical snacks, crafts, and games like Pin the Mustache on the Lorax and Green Eggs Golf. We promise good fun that is funny.