Dr. Seuss offered valuable insight when he said,

“The more that you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

The more places you’ll go.”

For some children reading comes naturally and for others… let’s say encouragement is needed. This time of the year is perfect for encouraging children to join the Read Across America event sponsored by the National Education Association. This annual reading motivation and awareness program calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss.

As the grandmother of a toddler, I am constantly looking for opportunities to encourage reading and the love of books. I am reminded of the multitude of ways to foster good reading habits in children of all ages. While the following ideas are simple, they may be helpful in your home also.

•            Read to and with your children. Even as they begin to read independently, continue reading aloud to them. Upper elementary students love to be read too! 

•             If your children are reluctant to read, allow them to choose books that interests them. Choose books about their favorite topic, hobby, or things they want to learn more about. (My granddaughter enjoys puppies, so you can imagine the books we are reading.)

•             Have a variety of reading materials available, such as books, magazines, newspapers, comic strips, etc.

•            Keep a book handy wherever you go. Waiting at the doctor’s office? This is a perfect time to read to/with your children!

•            Reading doesn’t have to be confined to a long novel. Have your children read anything from a cereal box to a recipe as you are preparing a meal. Often there are vocabulary words used in sources like a recipe a child may not encounter in a book.

•             Establish a consistent reading routine at home. Choose a time that works best for your family and devote that time to reading. Cozy up and enjoy this special bonding time! It could be an after school-activity or a before-bedtime routine.

•            As you are traveling, have your children read road signs, maps, billboards, brochures, and any tourist information you may have. Many rest areas have wonderful brochures that can be read by children. Have them “help” you discover more about a place you are visiting.

•            Compare books and movies. If your children have a read a book and seen the movie, talk about the similarities and differences between the two.

•            Read favorite books over and over again! While building fun memories, the repetition also builds fluency.

•            Visiting a library or a book store gives your children the chance to find books they are interested in. Allow your children the opportunity to explore reading! Show them a library and a book store are places of wonder and excitement.

At Loganville Christian Academy, our heart’s desire is to partner with parents and come alongside them in the education of their children. We hope to produce life-long learners and students who enjoy reading beyond their educational years.

Join LCA families as we celebrate reading at The Story Shop, in Monroe. We will have story time March 13 from 5-7 p.m. and March 15 from 4-6 p.m. Until then, grab a good book remember:

“The more that you read,

the more things you will know.

The more that you learn,

The more places you’ll go.”

Gina Hawkins can be reached at ginah@lcalions.com.

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