Raising Sharp Readers
Here's an excellent article by Colby and Aliana Sharp, about how they are raising their three (soon to be four) children as readers. Colby is a founding member of The Nerdy Book Club, and I've followed his blog for years, but this insight into how he and his wife foster a love of reading at home provides great tips to share with parents.
I've always believed surrounding children with books makes it inevitable that they will explore them, even if they can't read them yet. Corralling them on a single bookcase means books are easier to overlook. Remember, books are competing in most houses for attention. Leave them everywhere--they're not clutter, they're decor:)
Be a reader yourself. One of my friends, an avid reader and book reviewer, remembers her mother stirring a pot with a book in her hand. Dinner was often overcooked, but reading was established as something very important!
For some of us, local bookstores are a thing of the past, but the internet can allow you to connect your child with authors, keep up to date on new releases, and yes, seek out those elusive author visits, even if you have to drive a bit.
Other tips that Colby and Aliana share include giving books as gifts (that's all I send my nieces and nephews. Scour the end of the year best book lists if you're not familiar with new children's books, or give classics that you enjoyed.) Also, frequent visits to the library to ensure you have a great selection--our library allows unlimited checkouts, and I love seeing a child carrying a large sack of books out the door. While you're at the library, be sure to explore all there is on offer--let your children pick out CDs or videos, play with puzzles or toys, etc. Our library has an outdoor space connected to the children's library. Believe me, creating positive memories about the library don't just have to involve books, but they will get kids back in the door when they're older!
There are several other interesting tips in this article, so be sure to read it in its entirety, then share with parents with young ones.