When encouraging children to read, parents and care-givers should:
* Start with picture books and build to story books and novels.
* Vary the length and subject matter of your readings.
* Follow through with your reading. If you start a book, it is your responsibility to continue it - unless it turns out to be a bad book. Don't leave your child hanging for three or four days between chapters and expect his or her interest to be sustained.
* Occasionally read above your child's intellectual level and challenge her mind.
* Avoid long, descriptive passages until your child's imagination and attention span are capable of handling them. There is nothing wrong with shortening or eliminating them. Prereading helps to locate such passages and they can then be marked with a pencil in the margin.
* If your chapters are long or if you don't have enough time each day to finish an entire chapter, find a suspenseful spot at which to stop. Your child will be counting the minutes until the next reading.
- From "The Read-Aloud Handbook," by Jim Trelease (Penguin, 1995)
Pub Date: 5/10/98