In Canada, adult literacy is measured in levels, with Level 3 considered optimal for everyday demands. Unfortunately, four out of 10 Canadians, ages 16 to 65, struggle to reach Level 3—the level that should be attain by completing high school.
Reading, fortunately, can improve with practice. Higher literacy rates not only lead to academic success, but also better health and involvement with others. Literate adults are more likly to obtain good jobs and they feel more self confident.
Literacy often begins in childhood based on parents’ attitudes towards reading. Literate adults tend to foster an environment that develops literate children, who become literate adults themselves. (This is ignoring for now the possibility of reading disabilities) While schools are on break for winter, this is a good time to show children that reading can be fun so they can reap benefits now and later in life.
What does your child find interesting?
Adults have their reading preferences whether the preference is nonfiction, mystery, science fiction, or even mindless romance. Children are not different in this regard.
You can often link a child’s interest in books to the movies they like to watch. If your child enjoys fantasy or science fiction on the screen, perhaps he would enjoy the same in books. The local library often posts book reviews and sorts books by age. Allow him some browsing time to review books at his own pace and he will likely find something interesting to him.
The Interest Inventory is a handy tool if your child is interested in many topics or has the tendency to keep to herself regarding interests. Often times, even with a child who is not obvious with her interests, it is a matter of finding what is most interesting to that child. With probing questions about music, favorite toys, and favorite books so far, the inventory will help you find the best reading opportunities for your child.
Set aside some quiet reading time!
The family who reads together remains literate together. After your child discovers interesting books, put aside quiet time each day to read. Be a good example and read during this time too.
Instead of making reading a chore, make it an opportunity for your child to indulge her natural curiosity and her own interests. The interest inventory is an opportunity for you as a parent to help your child that doesn't think reading can be fun to discover a new world of possibilities! Building this positive attitude now, will help your child’s happiness and success in the future.