Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Summer Reading Tips for Parents

Summertime provides a wonderful opportunity to foster a love of reading with your children. No one’s worried about homework, strict schedules, or report cards. The days are longer, and books can be read with the simple task of enjoying a good story. When school is out and responsibilities are low, take advantage by scoping out books based on your youngster’s hobbies and interests. Here are a few summer reading tips for parents to help school-age children fall in love with reading:

Mix it up.

Aim to strike a balance between discovering new stories and relaxing with some cherished favorites. “Summer is a great time to take some risks and try new books. But never underestimate the power of a good re-read,” says children’s librarian, Laura Lintz, of the Henrietta Public Library in New York. “Emerging readers can gain a lot from revisiting their favorite picture books, beginning readers, and early chapter books. As they gain more reading proficiency, their understanding of these stories may deepen and provide them with feelings of mastery, success, and independence, too!” 

Have a book-themed day.

When your child connects with a story, consider modeling a day or activity after what you’ve read. Hit the beach for a sand-filled adventure after reading “Ty’s Travels: Beach Day!” or plan a day at the aquarium after reading “Little Critter: Going to the Sea Park”. For a more high-brow afternoon, follow up a Fancy Nancy story with high tea. You could even play make believe and let your child pretend to be Biscuit for the day, though we recommend placing a limit on the “Woofs!”

Make reading a delight.

Learning to read is hard work, but it’s relatively easy to turn reading into a reward. We so often let children stay up late for movie nights or family time, so why not add reading to the mix? Allow for an extra 10 to 20 minutes of read-aloud time before bed. Or, let them choose a story to thumb through on their own after their usual “lights out” time. Placing reading into the “treat” category will help them see the practice in a new light. By empowering them read on their own time, they’ll gain confidence and experience a sense of accomplishment.

Talk about books.

Don’t hesitate to pause when you read to your child to discuss an element of the story and ask them how they feel about it. Challenge them to guess what might happen next, or imagine how the characters might be feeling. If you are a reader, tell them something interesting that happened in a book or article you recently read. Hint: Most adult stories have at least one theme to which kids can relate! Hearing about it will help spark their curiosity, and they’ll feel like they’re getting a sneak peek into your life.

Most importantly, summer should be low-pressure. Read lots of books that they are excited about, let them see you reading, and most importantly, enjoy the break. For more summer reading tips for parents, check out this post, 10 Tips to Avoid the Summer Reading Slide.

Reading Tips For Parents & Educators

Find expert reading strategies and useful tips to help introduce children to the wonderful world of reading on their own with I Can Read!

Teach Your Kid How to Be a Better Reader

We all want our kids to be the best versions of themselves. At times, it can be difficult to distinguish between getting to know our child’s strengths and weaknesses and our desire for them to be good at everything. That’s a lot of pressure to put on ourselves and on our children. When it comes to reading, lower the stakes and try to make the pursuit as fun as possible. Here are a few ways that you can take the stress out of reading and teach your kid how to be a better reader in the process.

Choose age-appropriate books.

Great literature exists for all ages and levels. If you’re a reader, you may be tempted to share old favorites with your child. This can be such a rewarding experience provided your child is ready for them. As with movies, you want to get the age right, so your kids love the stories as much as you do! Try not to rush things, and enjoy finding new classics as well as sharing old favorites. For younger readers, books about Amelia Bedelia and Frog and Toad are well-paired with groovy stories about Pete the Cat or Pinkalicious. Sometimes, the best experiences are the ones you share together for the first time.

Build on screen time.

If your child loves a certain movie or TV show, find a book that features the character. It may not be your favorite way to spend your read-aloud time, but it will allow your child to meet characters in more than one format and associate reading as an extension of something they already love. On the flip side, we’ve spotted one of our favorite creators rapping about various phonemics from old Electric Company episodes. We see you, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Expose them to a variety of genres.

Do you love thrillers? Nonfiction? Poetry? Almost every genre of adult books also exists for children. Give them a taste of it all, and see what they gravitate towards. Then, help them find more of what they like. Remember that tastes change, so continue to expose them to a variety of stories, and give them the freedom to choose age-appropriate books on their own as well.

Read for at least 20 minutes every day.

Children who read for 20 minutes every day benefit in so many ways: They expand their vocabulary, they learn empathy, and they tend to be higher achievers. Set aside a time to read aloud to them every day. As they start learning to read themselves, you can have them try their hand at identifying various letters and sight words, but don’t push them. Teaching your kids the joy of reading for pleasure is one of the best gifts you can give! The rest will come later.