"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
Do you read to your kids? I do. I have every night since they were born. Well, almost every night- life happens sometimes and our droopy eyelids from a busy day don't always hold long enough to get to "The End". We started off when my oldest was a baby and have continued on since then. Three books was the count when we started but now that the books we enjoy have so many more words, we've cut it back to two. Since my oldest can read now, she picks a book that's easy for her to read and she reads one book to us, then I read the other one. This was actually part of the process I used to teach her to read.
"Your kid could read a thousand books, but the ones they read with you give them the best chance at success. Read with your child."
Although our personal collection's pretty interesting, we get most of our books from the library and keep them on their own separate "Library Shelf". We have always made the library a weekly trip, a standing date of sorts, when they can pick out and bring home whatever they want. (If you find a good library, they have a nice little play area inside and fantastic story times complete with crafts.) Really, it feels like a shopping spree and the high comes from not having to spend a dime. My youngest even asked me the other day if she could "buy" the book at the counter. I sent her three-year-old self up by herself with her library card in hand and the book of her choice and she checked it out on her own. I love the Howard County librarians (shout out!!), they humored her all the way and made her feel like a big girl but were secretly tickled pink. Gosh, I love those ladies. Anyway, I digress...
"The greatest gift is a passion for reading"
If you haven't made this a part of your routine, think about working it in. It doesn't have to be a lot of time or reading. Even just one book a night is beneficial. Among other things, it's great bonding time for you and the kids and it's a wonderful transition to help them wind down at night- when the books come out in my house, they know it's time for bed. When we pull out our chapter books, they lay in bed with the lights dimmed to listen and visualize what's going on in the story while I read. Story time at night is a sacred time in our house and there are so many reasons to make it the same in yours. If you haven't yet, just give it a try. I'm sure you'll love it.
Some informative links to check out (taken from the The More You Know website):
Childhood 101 Blog: Literacy Spot
Find ideas for fun activities that will get your child excited about reading.
Mad libs and ongoing stories for kids.
Numerous games for children to help develop their reading, writing, spelling and vocabulary skills.
Website about poetry for kids. Read, write, rhyme and play anything having to do with poetry.