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As parents, we strive to help our children grow up to be healthy, productive adults. Times are changing faster than ever, and parents are working harder to make ends meet. With constant introduction to new technology, as individuals and as a family, we have more choices than we've ever had before. So how do we stay focused and ensure we give our children the best upbringing possible? In this series we will share some tips we have found that help children develop a positive self image, and encourage success in the classroom.


#4: Read Together


Learn.
Image by lydiaisthebombdig, via Flickr

Perhaps you see a pattern in our list...together! Almost everything involved in a family's daily routine can be done together.  In our house, we break into groups before bedtime.  Dad goes one way with one book, mom goes another with a different book.  Sometimes one of us will read one book to both kids at the same time, it just depends.  Having reading material at home that is at or above your child's grade level is so important.  I am amazed at how teachers tell me every year that this isn't the case for all children.  Every teacher will tell you: "Read, Read, Read!" It doesn't matter if it is the weekend, holidays or summer: keep reading! Reading to your children helps them develop fluency. "One definition of fluency is the ability to read aloud expressively and with understanding. When fluent readers read aloud, the text flows as if strung together like pearls on a necklace, rather than sounding halting and choppy. The most powerful way for you to help your students is to read aloud to them, often and with great expression," says Lisa Blau in an article for Scholastic.

Some of our favorite book series are: Magic Tree House, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Captain Underpants.  We are also frequent library patrons, priding ourselves on the fact that they once turned us away because we had reached the maximum number of books we could check out!  Graphic novels, magazines, Sunday comics, and internet articles are all good sources of varied reading material to expose children to. The key is to find something that sparks their interest and then go with it! Reading aloud together, and allowing your children to see you reading in your free time, are both excellent ways to model this very important activity!


What are your favorite books? 
We're always looking for good ones!
 
Stay tuned for tip #5 tomorrow!
 
Did you miss the first tips? Start here

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