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The 3-Finger Rule: If there are 3 (or more) words on a page your child does not recognize, the book is too hard for them...now (!).
Top 5 Tips For Reluctant Readers
Books for reluctant readers should have:
1. Big print (less threatening).
2. Good use of color (slows kids down).
3. Small chunks of text (less overwhelming).
4.Instructional/interactive 
text, such as nonfiction books and step-by-step guides (helps comprehension).
5. Photos and illustrations 
(grabs their attention AND provides clues to the story).
Helpful websites: (click on the link!)
www.readkiddoread.com : a great collection of lists for children's age groups and some great tips (we especially like '10 Tips to Get your Kids Reading" and the "I-Hated-to-Read-til-I-Read-This booklist for boys)
www.guysread.com: -created by author Jon Scieszka; lists galore!
and www.readingrockets.org: TONS of helpful hints and tips for parents and educators
The Speed Bump Dilemma
(what to do when your kid comes across a word they don't know)
1. See if they can sound it out.
2. If they ask for help, give them the word OR skip it and come back to it after finishing the sentence. They may be able to figure it out within the context of the sentence.
3. If they give acceptable substitutes ("kitten" for "cat"), fine. But if the word is different ("read" instead of "road"), ask them to reread the sentence.
​4. Pull out the dictionary. Yup, that's what it's for!
Read to your unborn child- studies show children in utero can hear you at about 20 weeks!
Children who read: SUCCEED! 
Studies show that reading helps
+develop language, writing and logic skills,
+enriches lives, 
+promotes imagination
 and +opens new worlds. YAY!
SUREFIRE TIPS TO GET KIDS READING!!! 
*Let them choose. Kids say the number one reason they don't read more is because they can't find books they like. The best way to get kids reading is to give them books they WANT.
*Read the right books at the right time. Think of it as the Goldilocks rule: the book shouldn’t be too hard, or too easy, but just right. Use the 3-Finger Rule (see info at right) to find just the right book. But, at the same time...
*Don't discriminate. Freedom of choice is key; comics, re-reading a book, easy books and hard books are all fair game. Don't say no if the book is helping a kid get into the reading habit. Make a deal: he/she can read one easy book AFTER a slightly more challenging one.
*Go beyond the obvious. Audio books, magazines, newspapers, anime/manga, all should be fair game. These forms of literature still help to build your child's vocabulary and give them background knowledge about various subjects. And don't forget non-fiction!
*Boys are squirrely. Boys' differences in tastes need to be encouraged, not discouraged. Too often, boy-appealing books like Guinness World Records or books with explosions and robots are disproportionately overlooked.
*Be a reading role model. It's important that your kids see you reading.**Don't leave the burden with schools- it's YOUR job to get kids excited about reading.
*Take action. James Patterson is well-known for his passion about children and reading- his website, www.readkiddoread.com has LOTS of suggestions, hints and tips. "Like" James Patterson on Facebook or send him a note. Patterson believes that with enough people behind him (combined with his publishing clout!), we can tell our legislators in Washington D. C. to get something done about this issue. Just think what the President, or even ESPN, the NBA, the NFL or Hollywood could do if they started pressing the issue. 
Raising Readers
(This is why we do what we do).
Screen Watchers are followers and consumers. 
But Readers are LEADERS and PRODUCERS! 
Which group do you want your child to belong to? For more information, check out the websites at the bottom of the page. And keep reading!
If your child hates reading, you may need to take him/her to a developmental optometrist. They check so much more than just how well each eye can see an eye chart 20 feet away. There are many vision skills needed for reading, including the ability of the eyes to track together as a team, converge in the right place, and change focus from far to near easily. Around 25% of the population can not do these things. If your child is in that percentage, he may never learn to love reading unless his vision processing difficulties are treated. Talk to our friends at Suburban Eye Care (32415 Five Mile– barely half a mile down the road from the BC!). They specialize in pediatric eye care.