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So good she just couldn’t put it down….

Last night I fell asleep reading a thriller (my new favorite genre). Mind you, it was 1 a.m. and I was hopeful I would finish the last third of the book. There is something hypnotic about eyes moving across a page, even if it is a thriller. When a parent reads to a child the child learns to equate books with pleasure and comfort. Changing your voice to match the personality of a character captivates a child. They learn to imitate the reader. So much of what children learn is through imitation. Parents who read books leave an imprint that promotes a love of reading.

It is important that children select their own books to allow them to explore their interests. Books are the passageways to other cultures, places, experiences. The books they choose must be at their reading level. It’s good to use the “Five Finger Rule.” If a child makes 5 mistakes when reading a page, that book is too difficult. Direct the child to a book that is appropriate for their reading level yet honors their choice. If they insist on a book that is too hard, offer to read it to them. It’s always best when they find a book they can read themself.

These days children are doing much of their reading on devices (iPads, phones, laptops). You may think, “at least they’re reading,” but a Harvard study showed that,

“...the use of digital devices before bedtime prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep, interferes with the circadian clock, the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, REM sleep, and reduces alertness the following morning. Use of light-emitting devices at bedtime also makes one more alert, so it’s hard to fall asleep.” (

Put your Ipad or phone in another room before bedtime. Resist the urge to allow children to use a device prior to bedtime.

Make sure a child has access to books. Local libraries, thrift stores, Little Libraries, garage sales, online read aloud websites, and book swaps are ways to accumulate your personal library. Check out these:

Storyline Online:

Start early. Read aloud! Children will imitate you!
Introduce children to books and have a variety of rhyming books.

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