|Courtesy of Reading Eggs|
It’s not always easy to get your kids to read. But a bit of encouragement always helps!
If your little ones are starting to face the end-of-summer blues, consider signing them up for the National Learn-to-Read Challenge, a six-week program that starts today, and is designed to keep kids reading through the first days of school.
“We want people to begin the journey to becoming great readers,” former PBS personality and campaign spokesperson Miss Lori tells PEOPLE Moms & Babies. “If you can step into the beginning of the school year on a solid foot, it will really help your child as time goes on.”
The challenge, sponsored by Reading Eggs, hopes to reach 50,000 families by Sept. 30.
Moms and dads can register their 3- to 7-year-old children on readingeggs.com, where they’ll gain access to helpful reading tools and games.
“My 7-year-old daughter struggled to read, and it was all she wanted to do,” Miss Lori (below) shares. “Watching her deal with that, trying to make that light bulb turn on, was hard. And once she did start reading, you see how that gift emboldens a child and opens their world.”
|Courtesy of tk|
So once you register your child in the National Learn-to-Read Challenge, what else can you do? Miss Lori shares her reading tips:
Lead by example. “It’s important for parents to read in front of kids, not just to them, ” she says. “And it doesn’t have to be a book — it can be a magazine, periodical or story printed from the Internet. Show children that as adults, there’s a place in our lives for reading.” She suggests keeping reading material with you on the go and around the house, in case you ever have a moment to fill.
Make a special reading space. “It’s great to carve out a reading corner in the bedroom, family room or living room,” Miss Lori says. “It’s a place for them to share their thoughts with you, or relax by themselves.”
Don’t set a time limit. “I always hesitate to land on a number,” Miss Lori says. “Life doesn’t necessarily fit around a 20-30 minute window, and parents shouldn’t feel guilty for that. Get in what you can, when you can.” It doesn’t have to be done before bedtime, either; you can read to kids before dinner, after homework time or in the morning.
Start early. “I read to my children when they were in the womb,” she says. “I read out loud so they could hear the vibration of my voice. Your voice, your heartbeat is the first ‘music’ they experience. It’s important to share that.” Miss Lori recommends reading to infants — in a soothing tone of course — to share the emotion and imagination stories bring. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to start a tradition,” she says.
For more on the National Learn-to-Read Challenge, visit the Reading Eggs website.
— Kate Hogan