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Ready!, Set!, Read!

Remember how excited you were when you started school? At last, you were going to learn to read — the world would be yours? But it didn't happen overnight. There was a lot of hard work that came first. What about your own children? Many things may have changed in school, but it still takes a lot of effort to learn how to read. As a parent you can make it a little easier and a lot more enjoyable for your son or daughter.

Here are a few ideas you might like to think about. They have all been parent-tested and teacher-approved, so they do work.

  • Most important of all, read to your children regularly even before they start school. Find a good, thick book full of interesting stories for children and make a habit of reading a few pages aloud to your children every night. Sometimes, as they learn to read, let them take over the reading and keep them on their toes by asking a few questions.
  • Set an example yourself. Children learn by example and seeing their parents reading is the best example possible.
  • Read with your children. Find a cozy, quiet corner where you won't be disturbed and invite them to read a favorite story to you.
  • Sometimes give a book as a gift. It shows that you value reading and books enough to make them special.
  • Make a habit of visiting the local public library to let your children pick out some books. But check to make sure the books they select are neither too easy nor too difficult. If you are not sure, ask the librarian for some help.
  • As your children get older, encourage them to go to the library regularly on their own. Perhaps you could even make a habit of dropping them off on your way to do grocery shopping, as long as they are old enough to be left alone, and then pick them up on the way home. Ask the teacher or the school librarian to suggest some books which might suit your child's reading level.
There is a wealth of children's stories today to fire the imagination and excite the mind. With a few minutes of your time every day you can help your child by providing a positive reading environment.For more information, visit the Alberta Teacher’s Association website at

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