Reading (and being read to) makes you a better reader. And that means reading anything and everything from signs on the road to comic books and novels. The more you read, the better reader you will become and the more fluent reader you will become.
As young children read, they become more familiar with patterns in the text and in words themselves. They begin to notice the words that appear more frequently (sight words). When they listen to someone read to them, they learn about expression and how words and sentences should sound.
Many people tell me that their child (of all ages) doesn't want to read and they show no interest in reading. It is important to figure out what inspires or interests your children no matter what age. If they like sports, give them sport magazines or books. If they like cartoons and comic books, let them read those. Another option if they aren't confident readers is to buy books on tape.Let them read along in the book with a tape. They will be able to hear another reader using expression while they track the text on the page. A great series on tape is Harry Potter. The reader on the tape does a great job changing his voice to match the characters. It is a fun read on tape. My son started with that and began reading the rest of the series on his own.
Books on tape are great for older children (middle school and older) as well. Many older children claim they are too tired to read and there may be truth to that. They do sleep a lot. Or, they are just not interested in reading. So a book on tape is great on the go or while laying in bed while they read along. Be sure it is not the abridged edition if they are reading the full-length book. Hearing someone else read it can make it a little more interesting. I think it is important for the reader to have the book in hand when they can to read along. This strategy may be helpful by opening them up to books they didn't know they would like. Obviously, the best option is for them to read on their own, but we are trying to inspire those kids who don't have an interest in reading.
Give your child a recipe to read to you while you are cooking.
Find an (short) article in a magazine or newspaper that they might be interested in like about
an athlete they like, an event you might attend or a place to visit.
Have your child read to a younger child (make them feel like they are helping not practicing reading).
Have your child read directions for building something or putting a toy or game together.
Let them choose the books they are comfortable with and offer them opportunities to read all day.
Let me know if this was helpful to you. Feel free to ask questions. I have degrees in Early Childhood, Elementary education and a Masters in the Art of Teaching. I taught preschool through 2nd Grade for many years. I have been trained in Orton Gillingham.
More reading advice in future posts... When should I start teaching my child to read? Is it ok if my child wants to read the same book over and over?
The more you read, the better reader you become. So, READ!