The search for a perfect recipe to teach a child to read and learn to love it along the way is a well-worn parental path. Every parent goes through it, with every child. And at certain moments on that path often wonders: “So where are those instructions – the ones that say, For Best Results…?”
Well the truth is there is no perfect recipe to teach a child to read and, in turn, love it so much that they always have room for more… It doesn’t exist. The fact is you could probably ask a dozen teachers and childhood scholars what the best recipe is for teaching a child to read that will set them on the perfect path – at just the right moment – to develop a love of reading, and you would easily get a dozen different answers.
Learning to read and loving it – as with most things in life – does not come as the result of a perfectly prescribed recipe or a specific baking time; for every child the ingredients and the cooking times, they are variable.
With that in mind, here is a list of Top 10 ingredients you might include in your child’s unique recipe of learning and loving to read, while simultaneously instilling in them your love of reading as they venture on their own well-lit path.
- First, read constantly yourself – books, magazines, newspapers, the comics – read everything – you are their example
- Keep a stack of books on your bedside table you are reading or planning to read showing your child there are so many books and so little time
- Pick up local publications in diners, restaurants, stores reflecting your curiosity for reading and your interest in your own community
- Make your local bookstore a fun, family destination to hang out, relax, shop and read
- Take your child to reading times and special events at bookstores and libraries
- Have a designated family book bag and take it everywhere you go; filled with favorite books – yours and your child’s.
- Volunteer to read to your child’s class at school; the kids and teachers will love it
- Keep bookshelves in your house filled with books – most of which you have read, but some perhaps not
- Have a small bookshelf that belongs just to your child stacked with books that are theirs and theirs only – a simple start for a life-long library of their own
- Make reading a family ritual, part of your family experience – one way to do that is simply to take the time to read to your child every night at bedtime
As you can see, the bottom line here is to fill your life and your child’s with books and reading every single day. Even though there is no perfect recipe for teaching a child to read and learning to love it, for best results… begin with the simplest and most important ingredient straight from Dr. Seuss…
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies
and all the nooks.”
– Dr. Seuss