How to Raise a Reader

Read for yourself. Children are often unaware of how many things you read each day for both pleasure and information including: letters, magazines, newspapers, internet articles, TV closed captioning, traffic signs, and many, many more!


*Read aloud to/with your child often. Read things you both enjoy! If your student stops being attentive, it's time to stop reading. Choose something else or another time to read. If your child wants to stop and discuss, stop! Discussion is an important part of reading.


*When you read with your child, sit next to or hold them on your lap so they can see the pages with you. They will be learning left-to-right progression of the print and the pages, and that print has meaning.


*Read enjoyable stories more than once, allowing your child to participate at will. Reading is interactive - let your student join in!


*Encourage your child to "read" the story to you if they would like to. It is fine for them to invent their own story, or to read the words they remember. This is a great way to allow them to build behaviors that will later help them with reading and comprehension.


*Practice strategies that are NOT based on sounding out the words. For example: when reading stories in rhyme, stop before the final rhyming word and allow the child to finish or read books with lots of repetition so that your child can join in. If your child initiates sounding out, help them to relate the letters to their sounds, but don't allow them to be stuck and frustrated.


*Offer your child opportunities to read and write. Let them "fill in" the applications in your junk mail, "read" you their own stories, and offer to script stories for them. Provide reading and writing materials and a special place for your child to maintain a personal "office" -  even if it is just a portable tote of supplies.


*Don't overdo. Reading should be fun, and your student will learn the most if they are motivated. Let them choose books on topics in which they are interested, and if the books are too difficult, help them to read, or find sections they can read themselves. You'll be surprised at how much they can learn when they are interested!


*Provide lots of materials and variety for your child. Students can check out books each day from the NLABC Library  (if they return previously checked out books). The Anchorage Public Library is also nearby. Take advantage of school book club offers, student created books, and garage sales.


*Volunteer at Northern Lights! We would love to have you read with students, help in the classroom, or spend time volunteering in the library. With your help, all of our students - especially your own - will be more successful!