Set a Good Example
Inevitably, children are watching (and following) your every move, which makes it even more important to set an example that reading can be an enjoyable part of your daily routine. Meg Carroll, a professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, strongly believes that if you don't make reading a part of your own life, you will have much more difficulty emphasizing the importance of reading in a child's life.
"Kids learn that they are forced to read by adults, but once the kid becomes an adult, they choose not to read," Meg says. "They think you never do it again, so they assume it must be bad, and that is not the message we want to send our kids."
In her own home, Meg read aloud to her kids until they entered high school. In her classroom, she continues to ask her students what has happened in a story and then helps them look back to find the answers in an effort to constantly model the behavior of a good reader.
Enjoy the Outcome
Ultimately, every second you spend reading with your child will make a difference. Not only will you be reinforcing good habits and comprehension skills to help them succeed, but also making amazing memories along the way.
"Reading is my favorite thing to teach," Nancy says. "It's so cool to watch the light bulb go off and realize they get it. And the best part is that they, too, are so excited."