For the past few days, I have been cooking treats for Christmas. I am not much of a cook, to tell the truth, but I do have a few favorite recipes. This year, I prepared these cookies I invented, with the help of a cookbook, and my grandmother's peanut butter fudge. The recipe for the fudge is a treasure, as it is in her handwriting. I read it this year, thinking of her energy and willingness to use anything as a teachable moment. Every time I find myself reading in the course of the day, I hear her voice reminding me to point it out to my son. This would reinforce that reading is meant to do more than simply entertain.
This all leads me to my point- When people stop and ask me how to help their child become a better reader, I tell them to be a reading role model. Never stop reading. You may not be the kind of person who enjoys fiction, but I bet you read something every day. Are you a lover of current events? Then, share an interesting article from a newspaper or magazine with your toddler. Are you a cook? Show your children the recipes from which you work. Teach them to read the specialized format. If you need to read reports for work, make time to do it in front of your children, no matter what their age. They will see that reading is something that will sustain them into adulthood.
Finally, be sure to read in front of them and not just the books you are reading aloud to them. They will believe you when you say reading is important if they see you making it important for yourself. So, this winter break, pick up something with words that you need/want to read and share it with your reader.