print motivation as a building block for reading success

Research suggests that children who think reading is a fun and valuable activity have an advantage when it comes to learning to read. During the preschool years, parents play an important role in communicating a value for books and reading. Here are some things  you can do – or may already be doing – to enhance your child’s print motivation.

Let your child see you reading. As in so many areas, our own actions speak volumes. And research suggests the best way to bring up a reader is to be a reader. When we read in our free time, our children are more likely to be interested in doing the same.  When we demonstrate how books and online resources can provide answers to their questions, we are showing them how reading can provide useful information.

Allow children to select books about their current interests. Reading about the topics they care about makes for more engaged kids during reading time. It doesn’t usually take much prompting for kids to show preferences for certain books. My older son often walks into the library with an idea of what he wants to read about. The younger one is pretty predictable too. Road construction stories and farm animals are always a good bet for him.

Read with enthusiasm and make reading interactive. Ask your child to make predictions about what might happen next in the story. Talk about the pictures.  Answer their questions. If you’re reading a book that has a repeated refrain, invite your child to repeat it with you. If you’re reading a book that has a rhythm, clap along. If you are reading a book that you’ve read many times before, allow them to finish some of the sentences or to supply the rhyming word at the end of a line. Use your creativity to make reading times fun.

What are some of the ways you share an enthusiasm for reading?

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4 thoughts on “print motivation as a building block for reading success

  1. I give books to people as gifts. 🙂 I read to my students a lot. I share good books from the library with others. I blog about books so people might want to read the good ones I have read. I even dress up as Bookgirl.

  2. LOVE this post! Thanks for sharing these tips. I’m always looking for opportunities for my children to read. We make trips to the library to check out books, and then go to Starbucks and read them over a favorite beverage. This gives me a chance to read as well (and show them I’m reading), and we get to talk about what we are reading. Love that, too!

    • Reading together at the coffee shop sounds like a great way to spend a morning. Talking about what you’re reading is such an important piece. Keep it up (on through to adulthood)!

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