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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Gillian from LittleHeroes.com put up a great blog post outlining tips to get your child’s nose into a book and I wanted to share the tips with you. And add some insights of my own. 😀 What would life be without my input? (gotta love my modesty today, don’tcha?)

1. Vary for Interest Read different types and styles of book to your child. Don’t become fixated on the types of book or reading material you use. Every little bit of reading helps.

One thing we do here at Earnest Parenting is go to the library weekly and let the boys pick out books on their own. It’s amazing what they’ll choose! Picture books, magazines, and a wide variety of informational resources have come through the house. For some reason, the younger boys are just fascinated with a series on various elements. The reading level is way too high for them, but they love to look at the pictures and pick out facts. We just returned the ever-exciting book Oxygen today.

2. Encourage participation. Have your child ask you questions about the story, or answer questions you ask as you read aloud. If you’re reading a familiar book, have them finish the phrase.

Every day we have Fun Reading time, where the younger boys go pick out a book from the library pile to read. They love to be in charge of the titles! I did make a “I’m only going to read a book once” rule. They’re welcome to re-read a favorite on their own as often as they like, but with hundreds to choose from in the library I like to keep the variety coming.

3. Make it fun. Snuggle together for reading time, use funny voices, even make sound effects. Never underestimate the value your child puts on reading time.

I’ve gotten better at my read-aloud skills over the years, and even the older boys will stop by to join in a good story if we start getting dramatic with it. Fun and reading should go hand-in-hand as much as possible, even if I feel a little silly sometimes.

4. Engage your child in the story. A personalized story with your child’s name and familiar references goes a long way toward sparking interest.

The younger boys were fascinated with the process of making their own personalized e-book at LittleHeroes.com. A great deal of discussion went into choosing the right look for their character. I really enjoyed watching them negotiate.

5. Be a good reading role model. The more your children see you read, the more they’ll read themselves. Media attention to books has sparked interest sporadically, but parental involvement is a truly effective way to get kids reading consistently.

Studies have shown that just having reading material around the home raises reading scores. Subscribe to a magazine or newspaper, check books out of the library, or shop at your local bookstore. Just read! It’s good for your kids.

6. Read often. Build reading into a daily routine. It’s a habit you and your child will always be thankful for.

I was terrible at the whole library/reading time thing until we started taking piano lessons and I simply added the library stop on the way home. From there it was easy to put Fun Reading into the lesson plans. Finished books are put into the library bag and taken back the following week.

Today is the last day to enter in the LittleHeroes.com giveaway! Add a comment to the post to be entered for your copy of The Homerun Cookie. And grab the 10% off coupon for your own personalized book at LittleHeroes. There’s still plenty of time to order Christmas gifts!

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want their children to read.