books

School is here and with it comes a return to regular routines, earlier bedtimes and fuller schedules for many families. Although it can be challenging to fit everything into the end of a long day, building a routine of reading at home is not only important to your child’s literacy development, it can be a fun, memorable way to connect with your child.

SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) is a statewide nonprofit focused on fostering a love of reading and learning in Oregon kids. In our 27th year, we’re excited to provide shared reading time and books to keep to over 700 kids in Douglas County. It is our goal to get kids excited about reading every day, whether it is in the classroom, at home or at the park.

Here are six tips to fit reading with your child into your busy schedule:

  • The classic bedtime routine is a classic for a reason. Setting aside a few minutes before bed to cozy up with a book can bring tranquility to the end of a long day, and it’s something you and your child can look forward to together.
  • If you don’t finish an entire book in one sitting, don’t stress. Reading the same book over a few days is OK. Use it as an opportunity to summarize what happened the last time you read together.
  • Take books on the go to read in the car, the doctor’s office or the park.
  • Make books accessible to your child by storing them in places they can easily find and reach.
  • Talk about books at dinner, during chores or in the car and invite kids to share about what they’ve been reading. Retelling stories and recalling information in books is an important literacy skill.
  • Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Work writing into your child’s day by asking them to help with a grocery list, write a thank you note or birthday card, or keep a journal.

Finding small ways to incorporate reading into your child’s daily life can have a significant impact on their reading skills. However, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Enjoying books together and having fun with books will help your child foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.

To learn more about SMART’s work empowering Oregon children to read and succeed, go to www.getSMARToregon.org or call 541-672-6477.

Della Harp is the area manager for SMART in Douglas County.

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