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4 FUN Ways to Make Reading at Home More Engaging for Young Readers

Did you know that reading to your child every night increases their chance of succeeding later in life? Reading before be or after school should be a priority and part of each families daily routine. By reading together, families gain bonding time and students get to show off what they are learning in the classroom at home. 

Here are 8 tips to follow when reading with your little one: 

1. Start by reading the title of the book! 
Especially if you have never read the book. Sounds basic, but I've actually seen readers skip the title (shake my head!). The title sets the whole tone for the book and introduces what the book will be about. Don't expect your little one to have a god comprehension of the story if he/she did to now the title of the book. 

2. Make a prediction either when you first start reading the book, or a couple pages in. 
You can stop reading and say something like, "what do you think ``````will do next?" or "what  do you think will happen next?" Making predictions causes readers to think about what they are reading and connect t the story. It is also fun to see if your predictions were correct. Also, teach your student to begin their answer by saying, "I predict that..." 

3. Ask your young reader questions about the characters. Ask them to tell you how they think the characters voice sounds and read any dialogue in that voice. Its a great way to practice expression and learn about characters! 

4. Use the pictures. Before reading, you can do a "picture walk" A picture walk is a run through of the book without using the words. Flip through the book together and talk about what characters might be in the story, what you see the characters doing, what the setting might be. Pictures tell a lot of the story and you'll be surprised as to what your little one will notice about the illustration! This will also set the tone for the book. 

You don't have to be qualified teacher to give your kiddo a beneficial story time, but I hope these tips helped you and your kiddo get the most out of every bedtime story. Have fun reading, playing and learning. 

Allison S
Energetic Elementary School Teacher
University of Findlay
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