How often have you heard, “I don’t have anything to read!” from your child? With older readers, it might be slightly easier to pin down what their interests are and find books that are suitable for them, but with younger children, it is important to provide them with a variety of books that will spark their interests at a young age. Reading opens up a whole new world of imagination and knowledge for children and adults, so ignite a passion for reading in your child as early as you can!
At readingrockets.com, there is a plethora of useful resources, some of which provide great tips for keeping your child’s library fresh and entertaining. In addition, I have also included a few of my own suggestions based on what has worked in my first grade classroom.
Provide a variety of materials your child can look through to practice his or her reading skills. You have most likely witnessed your child’s excitement about reading street signs, restaurant menus, and subtitles on the TV as he or she has learned letter sounds and new words at school. In order to encourage this type of enthusiasm for reading, try to gather magazines, newspapers, and books with poems in them. You can also grab a few brochures and menus from online to add variety to your child’s library.
While you want your child to be able to read the materials in his or her library at home, it is important to have books that are also below and above your child’s reading level. Reading books below your child’s reading level will boost your child’s confidence in his or her reading ability. There is something so gratifying for a child when he or she gets to say, “This book is too easy!” The reason for including more difficult books in your child’s library is to show him or her that there is still room to grow! These books give you an opportunity to sit down with your child and work on sounds and words together.
In my classroom, my books are organized by reading levels and genres. I allow my students to choose two books on their reading level and one that looks fun to read, despite what level it is on. This type of organization encourages confidence and the opportunity to learn, as I mentioned in the paragraph above. In your home, organize your child’s library as you see fit for your child AND you! Just know that some form of organization is better than no organization.
Nonfiction books are important!
Your home library needs a good balance of fiction and nonfiction books. While fiction might seem more exciting to read, especially when it intrigues your child’s imagination, nonfiction books are where your child will learn the most through reading. So often, I am surprised by how many nonfiction books my students choose over fiction books. Young minds crave to learn more things about the world in which they live. Start by asking your child what he or she would like to learn about and buy just a few books over that topic. From there, you can branch out and add more to your child’s nonfiction library. You will be amazed by what your child will retain and teach you!
Where to buy?
You might be thinking, “I don’t even have a library at home for my child. I feel so behind!” or “All this sounds easier said than done. Buying books is expensive, and I do not have time for this.” If this is what you are thinking, you are not alone. I have provided a small list of places where you can purchase or rent books at a more affordable price. As far as not having enough time to do this, consider the impact investing in your child’s reading skills will have on his or her future. Most importantly, don’t let yourself get overwhelmed; instead, start with something simple and add on from there!
“Creating a Home Library.” Reading Rockets. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2017.