Tips for grades 4 to 6
- Keep reading with your child. Kids are never too old to be read to–or let your kids read to you. Read a variety of material – magazines, newspapers, books, poems and comic books. Try cutting out or printing interesting or funny articles to share with them.
- Public libraries today are worlds to explore so try and go regularly. Your library has great resources – books, computer games, DVDs, CDs, magazines, newspapers and Internet access. There are also terrific in-house programs such as reading circles for little ones and homework clubs for older children. If you have access to a public library, talk to the librarian about what is available.
- Read some of the same books as your child. There are many books that are loved by people of all ages. Ask your librarian or child’s teacher for suggestions. You can share your thoughts and ideas, and have great conversations about the characters, stories or topics.
- Ask your children what they’re reading. Ask what it’s about and what is most enjoyable about the book. Ask your child to describe it to you.
- Tap into interests and hobbies. Kids are more likely to read about what they find really interesting, like sports or crafts.
- Find books that relate to TV shows. Let’s face it, TV and video games are part of life now and our kids benefit when we help them learn how to think about these messages too. We also know that some kids find TV and video games fascinating. You can use this to your advantage–introduce them to books or magazines that relate to their favourite shows, movies or games.
- Encourage your older kids to read to younger kids. The older child will practice reading out loud and the younger child will enjoy being read to. Best of all, they get to enjoy spending time together.
- Play games together. Trivia games and board games such as Junior Trivial Pursuit® or Junior Scrabble® can be a fun way to learn about words and reading. Children have such a good time playing they don’t realize they are learning.
- Computers can be reading zones too! Though we all feel that kids may spend too much time on the computer, there are some great games that help kids with reading and allow them to create their own stories and books. Look for “parent approved” on the box in stores and in the library.
- Give praise. The best motivation comes from your positive feedback. Whenever your child finishes a reading or writing assignment, ask about what was read and praise your child’s effort.
Don’t worry if it’s a comic book, magazine or an illustrated novel, just remember all reading is good and tastes will change as they get older. When you go to the library, let them choose their own books.
A special note: Educators agree that literacy skills develop and improve as a result of a wide range of activities. For example, a child’s literacy skills are enhanced when parents who do not speak one of Canada’s official languages read to their children in their native language. Children will benefit from this reading experience.