Reading hints and tips
A little step every day to foster your child’s love of reading
- Read with your child for a few minutes every day. Gradually increase the time you spend reading.
- Invite your older children to read to the smaller ones.
- Encourage your child to read street names, store names, posters, flyers, the back of cereal boxes—in short, everything around them.
- Visit your local library every week. It’s a real treasure trove!
Point at colours, shapes and objects in the book and name them.
Age 0–5: Sow the joy of reading
Bring your reading alive
When you read to your child, especially if he or she can’t read yet, bring the story alive by singing or miming some extracts, changing your voice to match the characters in the book, or in many other creative ways. In other words, let your imagination run free, and you’ll push your child to do the same later on.
Happiness is in repetition
Re-read your children’s favourite stories frequently when they ask for them. Because they love them, and hearing familiar words and often seeing them in print helps children develop their vocabulary and eventually become good readers. In doing so, you’ll be helping them do well at school.
For more tips, take a look at the issue of French-language magazine Naître et grandir devoted to reading to very young children.
Share some reading time every day. Read to each other in turn, or sit together, each reading your own book.
Age 9–12: Stimulate a lifelong appetite for reading
On a practical note
Encourage reading activities that present themselves in daily life: have your children read the TV guide to choose a show, video game notices to find out how to play them, grocery store flyers, movie schedules, anything they come across. Discovering the practical side of reading will give your child the additional motivation she needs to keep on learning.
All ages – So reading becomes part of family life!
An atmosphere that makes all the difference
Create an atmosphere that makes people want to read, and have fun with books as a family. It comes down to finding your own ways of making books visible at home, easily accessible, and central to an atmosphere conducive to the joy of reading.
Here are some ideas to try out:
- Leave books in unexpected places, such as the car, bathroom, lunchbox, deck or purse, to foster children’s contact with books, and even keep them amused when they have to wait.
- Arrange books and magazines for all tastes and ages in a lively, attractive way: in a coloured bookcase, with the children choosing how they are sorted and placed, in a basket in the garden, or in a pretty box in the sitting room.
- Set up one or more comfortable, attractive reading areas at home where relaxation and comfort will combine when reading takes place.
- Give yourselves books as a family.
- Organize family outings to the library where everyone can choose their books.
Set up a daily ritual
Read for fun, each day, with your child. When he’s tiny, he listens to the sound of your voice, and looks at the pictures and colours. When he’s bigger, he still enjoys being told stories, and can now join in the reading. Encourage discussions with him before, during and after reading.
Other French-language resources to be consulted:
- Naître et grandir
- Yoopa : la référence des parents québécois
- Fédération des comités de parents du Québec
- Montreal Hooked on School
Are you a parent having difficulty reading and writing? Here’s the solution: Info‑Alpha 1-800-361‑9142.