You need a balanced diet. You see it everywhere and everyone has a different idea about what things you should include in your diet in order to be healthy. The options and their benefits can be overwhelming!
The same can be said for reading. There are SO MANY small pieces that fit together to make our children who they are as readers and there are many ideas of how to help children become the best readers possible.
Parents not only play an important part in helping their children become readers, but have one of the most fun jobs of all. We get to read with our kids!!! We can read anything and everything. That’s where the diet comes in.
Just like our children need to eat a balanced, healthy diet, they also need to read a balanced, healthy diet of texts. What does a reading diet look like? It really parallels a food diet. Sometimes children get stuck eating the same thing day after day. Many children read the same kind of book day after day as well. While this is important to allow sometimes, we also need to ensure that they are getting a good variety of reading material in their overall diet. This includes all types of texts, such as: picture books, informational texts, magazine articles, how-to books, newspapers, books from a series, chapter books or novels, and so on.
One tip for helping nudge your child into trying something new is to locate a different type of book on a similar topic that they are currently reading. For example, if they are reading and browsing facts about dinosaurs, encourage them to read about scientists who study dinosaurs or the process for locating fossils. It’s a small step in a slightly new direction. Another tip is to try reading things you and your child both enjoy. You can share the reading of the same text or read different texts and compare ideas.
Keep reading fun and fresh at home with new topics and types of texts. Enjoy time reading together and soon, with a healthy “diet” of reading, your child will be thriving as a reader!