𝐀 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟗 𝐬𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐲 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝟒𝟓 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐟𝐢𝐟𝐭𝐡-𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥. And I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a critical problem.
As an educator, I know that literacy starts in the home. And in observance of International Literacy Day, I’m sharing a few tips to help you start the foundation of breeding a reader!
1. Let your kids see you reading!
The phrase “lead by example” is not to be taken likely. Kids are more likely to have a desire to read if they see the ones closest to them reading. If they never see reading happening in the house, it’ll never be in their mind to do so themselves. Even better, it doesn’t have to be the biggest chapter book you can find. Magazines off of the living room table, or cookbooks in the kitchen cabinet still count as reading. Building family literacy has a direct correlation to how much, or how little your child reads. Just read! Pretty simple right? For more tips on creating family literacy, click here.
2. Read to them.
I’ll be the first to say, I’m not one of those nightly bedtime story moms. For one, I don’t want to. I like going to bed, just as much as my kids hate it. And that’s okay (this is a no momshame zone). Two, sometimes there is just not the time. When there is time, read them stories about things they are interested in. If you think, woa, my kid is in 4th grade, they do not want to hear a book from their momma, fret not. Everyone from birth to eighty five enjoys hearing a good book from time to time. Plus, there are a lot of apps in which your kids can be read a story. Here are a few of my favs:
3. Let your child choose what they read (within reason)
My son, no matter how hard I tried to get him to switch it up, would always choose books from the Dog Man and Big Nate series. It’s not that I didn’t like those books, because they’re actually very entertaining. But I also wanted his book choices to enrich his vocabulary. Believe it or not, reading plays a big part in a child’s vocabulary development, and vocabulary development is a HUGE part of their academic success. But when the book fair came to his school, I made sure he had the money to purchase the newest book in the series if he wanted. And so what if he read the same book over and over, he’s reading.
4. Think outside of the box.
Reading is not just a task students do in school, and it is certainly not something that is only done at a desk. At least it shouldn’t be. Creating a space that’s only for reading can make all of the difference. A cool, personalized reading space is not that hard to create either. All you would need is something to sit on and throw in some comfy items and WHALA! You can even get mobile. Going on a trip across town or down the street to HEB? Make sure to have a book readily available in the car. Even if your child isn’t actually “reading” yet, reading picture books is a great place to start. All books tell a story, and what better story than one created in the mind of your child. Check out these ideas of fun and easy ways to put a book nook together.
Also, If you love a good giveaway, you can head over to my Instagram @everyday.is.everything where me and a couple of my children’s book author friends are doing our part to promote literacy by giving away a couple of books! We are excited to be able to get these books into the hands of a special kiddo. They are our future. And it’s up to us as educators, as parents, as adults leading the way, to play our part in making sure they do not become one of those 45 million! The odds are against us, but together, with intent and dedication, we can do it!