Fun Ways to Build Reading Skills at Home

Fun Ways to Build Your Child's Love of Reading
Listen to and talk about song lyrics. Song lyrics are available to read on the internet too. Many song lyrics are like poetry; they are very deep in meaning and contain interesting words.

Provide a print-rich environment. Have stuff to read everywhere! Make sure it is reading material that your child, you, and your family are interested in. Books, newspapers, magazines, comic books -- it's all good!

Visit bookstores. Even for teens who are reluctant readers - bring them in and just let them wander. They may find themselves gravitating toward interesting displays and opening up a few books to see what's inside!

Let them choose: almost a centuries' worth of research has shown time and again that student choice in reading materials (within obvious bounds of appropriateness!) is absolutely essential in fostering a love of reading. In turn, the more students love to read, the more time they will spend reading. So ... while it's great to make suggestions, do allow your child to read what he or she enjoys!

Make time for reading. Another extensive body of research has consistently shown that time spent reading is the top way in which students build reading comprehension skills. The more time a person reads, the more he or she expands his or her vocabulary, background knowledge, reading stamina, and much more. Be sure your child has ample time for reading for enjoyment each day, or at least a few times a week.

Enjoy reading yourself! Read for enjoyment. Read what interests you. Share what you read with your child. Model your own love of reading - your enthusiasm will be contagious!
Make books a part of the family conversation. Talk about something interesting you read today. Ask your child about what they have been reading. Share memories of books you loved. Share ideas with each other for books you'd like to read. Everyone can keep his or her own reading wish list! (Hint: GoodReads.com makes this easy with their "Want To Read" list-making feature.)

Fun Ways to Build Vocabulary

Word of the day. Have fun incorporating your family's word of the day (or week) into your daily conversations!

Weekly family crossword. Keep a crossword puzzle on a wall or the fridge -- everyone add can add to it as they pass by!

Play word games. These could be board games like Scrabble, Boggle, and Bananagrams, or they could be video games (for example, Wheel of Fortune) or the many word game apps like Word Welder, Scramble, Jumbline, WordJong, Wordsmith, EZ+ Crossword, Alexia, many more!
Notice words. The more you and your family attune yourself to listening and watching for interesting words, the more interesting words you will notice! Keep a pocket size dictionary and thesaurus around for added entertainment.
Talk about words. Words you see, words you hear - anywhere and everywhere!
Word of the Day from the Merriam-Webster Learner's Website is a daily email you can subscribe to here: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/word-of-the-day

What fun things does your family do to foster a love of reading and help develop reading skills? Click on the "Contact" link to the left and let me know - I would love to add your idea(s) to this list!
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