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Mom and daughter reading on couch

Five Ways to Raise a Reader in a Digital World

Literacy is important and critical for children today. Research has shown that if a child is not reading at grade level by third grade, they are far less likely to graduate high school. These simple activities, when added to your families regular routine, can greatly impact, and lead to better educational successes. 

Make reading a habit

Set some time every day to read to and with your child.  You can start with 10-15 minutes blocks of time for younger kids and work your way up to a 30 minute stretch.   For small children you may choose to start by taking a book walk.  As they grow, ask questions about the storyline and encourge your reader to share what they thing happens next.  Practice partner reading and take turns reading small passages to each other.  It doesn't matter when or where you read, but be consistent. You're encouraging literacy and creating special moments with your child. 

Visit your local library 

Children's libraries are full of books, magazines and activities like story time or music hour that encourage learning. Let your child visit and choose a few books that interest them.   Or ask your librarian for a list of age appropriate reccomendations.  The choices are seemingly endless.  

Choose appropriately leveled books 

Books need to be content and skill appropriate at every age level.  Babies and toddlers start with board and picture books. Yes, even picture books stimulate areas in the brain related to imagination and literacy! 

Limit time spent with electronics and television

With the advancements in streaming and cable programming, parents are able to access children's programming any time of the day of night.  There is plenty of educational programming available online, however, experts suggest that we limit screen time to no more than 30 minutes per day.  And that includes time spent with computers, tablets and video games. 

Model for Your Child

Children pay attention to what we do far more than what we say.  Does your child catch you reading for enjoyment?  Have you told them about your favorite story?  Do you ask questions, explain or show enthusiam when reading?  Do you bring a book or magazine with you when you're on the road or taking a trip.  These are some of the behaviors that show kids that reading and literacy is valuable and important. 

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