Making the Most of Reading to or with Your Children: Part 4--Grades Four Through Six

This is the last article in a four part series about Making the Most of Reading to or with Your Children. This articles gives more examples and tips on how to continue making reading an integral and interesting part of a growing grade schoolers scholastic and social habits.

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As children grow, parents must make an extra effort to include reading activities in their day to day routines. Reading, like all other learned skills, must be practiced. The tips below can help you and your child keep reading a fun and engaging activity.

Encourage Independent Thought

Allowing your child to read and talk about their likes and dislikes enables them to establish independent thinking and form their own opinions, which builds the confidence that is necessary to move to middle school and beyond. Ask your child what they liked best about the stories that they have been reading. Encouraging your children to develop opinions about what they have read inspires them to continue exploring the world around them.

Be a Good Example

The National Education Association (NEA),, suggests that you should continue to set an example when it comes to reading, no matter how old your children are. Keep up with your daily reading and make books, periodicals, and other publications available to your child. 'Provide your child with a home dictionary or encyclopedia,' the NEA suggests. Having these reference volumes at their fingertips will encourage children to search for answers to any questions they may have, fostering a sense of independence.

Television as a Reading Helper

Although you shouldn't rely solely on books that are based on television shows, many cartoons or miniseries have companion books that use the same or similar characters and story lines. Disney movies, for example, often follow the same story lines as classic fairy tales, and mysteries on television often parallel the adventures of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Know Your Child's Interests

Provide reading material for your children that compliments their interests. Keep adventure stories around if your child develops an interest in comics, or keep animal stories or science fiction books around that have themes similar to their favorite TV shows. Make note of the authors that your child finds interesting, too, and keep a variety of books by the same writer in your home.

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