Reading Tips for Parents

    • Play with the letters of the alphabet and practice individual letter sounds with very young children. Use sounds, songs, gestures, and words that rhyme to build vocabulary and language use. Have fun with language! 

    • Read aloud to your child daily. 

    • As you share reading experiences, point out interesting spelling and sound patterns such as “cat, pat, hat.”

    • Point out familiar letters and words in your home and other places you take your child.

    • Have older children read aloud to you every night (even comic books are okay), and share reading and discussion in English or the language spoken at home

    • Choose a quiet place, free from distractions, for your child to do nightly reading.

    • Letting your child see you read for work or pleasure to spark their interest.

    • Ask your child questions about the characters and events in a story being read. Ask why she thinks a character acted in a certain way. Ask her to support the answer with evidence from the story. 

    • Take your child to the library or bookstore as often as you can. Help him apply for a Boston Public Library card—it is free! 

    • Encourage your child to read a wide variety of books and online materials that introduce topics and experiences they might be curious about.

    • See if your child is reading a book tied to a movie (Harry Potter series, for example) and compare and contrast the reading to the movie adaptation. 

    • Encourage your child to write often by keeping a journal or diary of their thoughts, ideas, or interests.

    Why should I read to my child?

    Children love it when their parent, an older child, or another adult reads to them—and it is an important activity to help children develop a love of reading. 

    My daughter can read books on her own. Should I still read to her?

    Yes! Reading to your child enhances deep listening and comprehension skills, especially with books that are too difficult for them to read on their own. 

    How do I choose good books for my child?

    Consider your child’s interests in selecting books. Select books that are culturally and linguistically interesting and introduce opportunities to learn about their diverse world. Your librarian can also help you find award-winning children’s books. 

    What should my child read?

    Children should read many kinds of texts: fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, biographies, nursery rhymes, feature articles, memoirs, and poetry—schedule regular trips to the library. Librarians are wonderful resources to help your children find books that they will love.