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Parents tend to have a huge influence on their children’s reading habits.

Indeed, suppose parents fill their houses with books and organize regular trips to the library. In that case, their kids are much more likely to develop a passion for reading than those whose parents do not incorporate reading into their daily lives.

Regardless of how much they read themselves, parents are always keen that their children develop reading skills early and utilize them daily. As parental actions can greatly impact their children’s lives, parents must understand how literacy is taught in the classroom and, therefore, how they can build on this teaching outside of school.

If you’re a parent looking to help your child bloom into a bookworm, take a look at our helpful tips:

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1. Reading is not a race

In some ways, the use of so-called ‘reading levels’ to analyze the development of a child’s capacity to read is arbitrary and disservices students everywhere. Of course, reading levels present a certain level of insight into a child’s ability to comprehend and annunciation the words on a page. However, they are unable to measure a student’s reading behavior. In other words, reading levels cannot tell us anything about how well they have absorbed a text’s meaning or their ability to ‘read between the lines.

This way, parents should take reading levels with a pinch of salt. Rather than obsess about your child’s level, teach them the joy of words by reading to them before bed and discussing texts with them. If you need further convincing that there is more to your child’s education than reading levels, Psychology Today has put together a compelling argument against this measuring system.

2. It’s okay to read “easy” books

Some parents can get a little concerned when they deem the books their children read unchallenged. However, treating reading as a skill that must be constantly improved can turn children off books. If you want your kids to learn to love words, allow them to find joy in all kinds of literature – even the so-called “easy” stuff! There is value to be found in all books.

3. Graphic novels can build reading skills

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding graphic novels, one of which is that their abundance of pictures hampers a child’s ability to develop reading skills. This is not the case, however. Graphic novels may use fewer words than regular chapter books. Still, the vocabulary used in graphic novels is often very complex as their authors need to express their ideas very succinctly.

As this article explores, comics and graphic novels are great ways to encourage even the most book-averse children to develop their reading skills.

4. Don’t simply lecture children about the importance of reading – show them

Children are excellent imitators, and while they may not be willing to listen to your lectures about the importance of reading, they will be more than happy to copy your everyday actions. Indeed, making reading a habit for your kids requires the whole family’s effort, and parents, in particular, need to show that books are a priority in their lives.

If you’re a parent hoping to incorporate reading into family life, you could try the following:

  • Organizing weekly family excursions to the local library
  • Treating kids to a haul of books on their birthdays
  • Set aside half an hour a day for family reading time – remember to switch off the broadband and eliminate distractions!
  • Read aloud to kids or encourage your older kids to read to their younger siblings
  • Discuss books at the dinner table, and don’t be afraid of a little disagreement – good literature is supposed to encourage critical thinking and debate, and these kinds of discussions will serve your child well in the classroom