• How can I help my child learn to read?

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    There are several things you can do to support your child learning to read. The most important is reading. You read, he reads, he reads to his little brothers and sisters, big brothers or sisters read to him, you read to him, or he reads to you.

    It is important for you to let him see you reading yourself, either for fun or for information. Read the newspaper, read letters, read library books, read magazines, read comic books, or read cereal boxes, but read.

    Also important is for you to read to your child. Developing readers of all ages and accomplished child and youth readers often really enjoy being read to. Choose a story your child will enjoy and read to him or her. 15-30 minutes a session is plenty, even if you aren't done with the book or the chapter.

    A third way to help your child learn to read is to help your child find time, space, and materials to read. Take them to the library or let them borrow a book from a friend. Help them find a spot where they can be left alone for 10-15 minutes, whether it's on the porch, in their room, or even in the bathroom.

    Additionally, you can talk to your child about things you have read, they have read, or that you have read together. You don't have to both have read the same book to talk about it. Simple questions like "Did you like that book?" can be important. If the answer is "NO!" with a long explanation of what was wrong with that book, your child did a good job analyzing how they felt about the book. That's an important part of reading. The same goes for a simple, "Guess what I read today?" The conversation afterwards reinforces the value of reading.

    Be aware that reading is not always easy. Sometimes we have to push on through what's hard. Reading at home for fun should be fun, though. It's OK for your child to abandon a book or other reading, especially if they can explain why they are abandoning the book.

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