Tomorrow I get the key to my classroom so I don't expect to be around much. So I wanted to get this thought down. The real motivation for starting this blog was to hopefully show parents that it doesn't take much to raise a reader (I know most of you wonderful friends/followers already know this but still.) You see my oldest reader M (age 8) floored me when she picked up at new book Grandma's at age 4.5 and read it cover to cover. Then when she went to K I learned that she knew 520+ words. I never knew that she knew so much OR how she learned it. I thought it may be a fluke. Good genes. Lucky. I'm still not sure but I'm pretty sure that I am going to do the very same things with T girl #2, J (age 3). Here are the things I believe you need in your home to raise a reader. Hold on to your seats because it is really VERY simple.
1. Have a bedtime reading routine (we set aside 30 min. but of that time I only read 2 books and they read on their own.) Some nights it has to be shortened but I bet our average is around 20 minutes.
2. Read books yourself. (My husband reads a lot, I'm more guilty of being on the computer, D'oh, but I do read).
3. Talk with your child, ask questions, answer their questions. (What does that have to do with reading? This builds vocabulary).
4. Get out of the house. Build lifetime experience so they can connect things they read in books.
5. And yes naturally my kids have been around as I have created lessons and I have tried them out on them, this may give them an advantage but I do not sit around with workbooks and drill them. I also love www.starfall.com and www.storyonline.com (I am even guilty of letting storyonline read to them if I am extremely busy.)
Go ahead, build a reader, you are your child's first teacher.