Attention, Patch families.
As a bestselling author, but most importantly, as a dad, I’ve found this to be my absolute go-to golden rule for parenting: the best way to open doors for your children is to get them to absolutely love to read books. And this won’t happen unless you, the parent, take the job into your own hands.
Reading—no matter what kinds of books they prefer—is the best and only way our kids will be able to grasp a firm footing in this life. Never deny them a book at the store or the library. Make time for reading 20 minutes a day in your house. Read books alongside them. Make the act of reading cool.
There’s a simple, easy way to get started: pick the books your kid will love. You can even use my ReadKiddoRead.com for a list of the best ones out there. Give them books they’ll enjoy, and they’ll pick up the next one on their own. Then another, and another… until you have a full-fledged reader on your hands, destined for great things ahead.
Ways to Celebrate National Reading Month
From storytime to read aloud programs, there are plenty of ways to make your children full-fledged readers—and National Reading Month is the perfect time to start. From showing your child your own children's books from years ago to going to a bookstore and seeing punchy, colorful new covers, either can ignite a love of reading into your child.
The National Education Association, which launched a Read Across America program to motivate kids to read, has plenty of resources on its site. Looking for the best books your family can read together? Then check out this list, the Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children Get ready to grab "Cat in the Hat" and "Charlotte's Web" from your local library--which could also have a children's reading room with interactive games and toys about characters from various books.
NEA also has booklists for every state. The following are among the list for Massachusetts:
- "Letting Swift River Go" by Jane Yolen
- "Night Raiders Along the Cape" by John Waters
- "Make way for Ducklings" by Robert McClosky
- "Comet's Nine Lives" by Jan Brett
- "She’s Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head" by Kathryn Lasky
- "The First Thanksgiving" by Jean Craighead George
- "Why We Have Thanksgiving" by Margaret Hillert
- "An Island Far From Home" by John Donahue
- "Amos Fortune, Free Man" by Elizabeth Yates
- "Anastasia Krupnik" by Lois Lowry
- "Anastasia at Your Service" by Lois Lowry
- "Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst" by Lois Lowry
- "Who’s That Stepping On Plymouth Rock?" by Jean Fritz
- "Johnny Appleseed" by Steven Kellog
If you're looking for more great books to read to your kids, check out the ReadKiddoRead Foundation's website for reading lists by age group and category.
Tell us in the comments section below what books you are reading for National Reading Month!