sometimes tell me that they have only a limited time to work with their children
at home. They want to know what one thing they can do to help make a difference
in their kidsí school success.
recommend one activity that has the potential to make a tremendous difference:
Make it a family practice to visit your local library once a week and have each
child check out as many books as he can carry.
Palo Alto City Library allows each child and adult to take out up to seventy
items at one time, so you may not want to take home the maximum allowable. But
you could decide among your family members to take out six, ten, or a dozen
items each week. Part of the key in establishing this family ritual is to be
consistent about going every week.
the week, there will be plenty of time to read and re-read these books. You can
expect that your family will have the following benefits from this activity:
- There will always be something for the kids to
- Reading will become a preferred activity in
- By practicing reading, it will improve.
- Increased reading will lead to improved
- The stories and topics of the books will
influence conversations in the family.
can mean a shift from talking about things that need to be done around the house
(nagging) to the stories and subjects of the books that family members are
- Older children will practice their reading
skills by reading to younger siblings.
- When the kids ask questions that you cannot
answer, you can suggest that they find a book that addresses the question
during your next trip to the library.
- Children will develop favorite authors,
characters, and genres of books.
- You and your children will enjoy your time
together - both in the library and at home reading.
- Childrenís confidence and attitude about
learning will improve as they have the weekly opportunity to choose books
that are meaningful to them.