Parents' Early Reading Quiz

Are you raising your child in a literate environment?

Reading doesn't happen out of the blue. It happens when the child's environment supports it in every way. Given the myriad benefits of early literacy, one of the most important goals of your child's pre-school years should be to get him excited about reading. After love itself, this is one of the most valuable gifts you can give your child.

Take the quiz below and see how many of these recommendations you are already implementing. If you can check off many of these statements, give yourself credit. If not, you'll have a host of ideas to get you started.

☐ I read to my child with joy and enthusiasm every day.
☐ I have lots and lots of books around my home.
☐ I give my child books as presents for birthdays, religious holidays, etc. so that she can feel that books are as much fun as toys.
☐ I encourage other family members (grandparents, aunt, uncles) to do the same.
☐ My child often sees me reading books, newspapers, magazines, letters, greeting cards, shopping lists, catalogues and so on.
☐ My child has a special place for her books.
☐ I, myself, have a healthy attitude toward reading.
☐ I visit the library often with my child. While there, I may stay and read a book to my child, join in a parent-child story time session, or let my child choose books to take home.
☐ I keep some extra books in the car for my child to look at if she gets bored while we're driving.
☐ I turn off the TV or radio so that there are no distractions while I'm reading to my child.
☐ I let my child climb into my lap while we're reading or else I cuddle up next to her so we are physically close while reading.
☐ I keep an extra book in my bag that I can share with my child while waiting at the doctors' office, supermarket, etc.
☐ I am prepared to read my child's favourite book over and over again because I understand that this is normal and important for her.
☐ While reading to my child, I comment on the pictures in the book and ask my child lots of questions about them.
☐ I let my child pretend to tell the story by following the pictures – especially if it's a familiar or favourite book,
☐ I am consistent with the daily reading sessions and give my child the message that they are an essential part of our day.
☐ I visit many different kinds of places with my child so that my child can bring her own experiences to the stories being read.
☐ I don't read for too long at a stretch.
☐ I play word games with my child in the course of the day to increase her awareness of the beauty and fun of language.
☐ When my child asks a question, sometimes I say, "I'm not sure. Let's look that up." so that my child views books as a source of information and knowledge.
☐ I teach my child how to hold and take care of a book and turn the pages.
☐ I do vocabulary building exercises / games during the day when we go to the supermarket, the mall, the park, the zoo etc so that my child develops a rich vocabulary to express herself and to understand the world around her.
☐ My child and I look at photo albums together and I tell her stories about the family members and friends pictured there.
☐ I sing songs with my child.
☐ As the opportunity presents itself, I explain that the same words can sometimes have different meanings, depending on the context.
☐ If my child is over three, I subscribe to a children's magazine in her name so that she can look forward to receiving it every month.
☐ I read all kinds of books to my child – fairy tales, classics, myths, folk tales, historical stories, biographies, mysteries, stories about different cultures and countries, as well as jokes and riddles.
☐ I read poems to my child so she can hear the beauty of rhyme and rhythm in the language.
☐ I write letters and thank you notes to grandparents, relatives and friends along with my child and encourage her to "sign' her name or draw some pictures.
☐ I let my child listen to audio cassettes of books, where she can learn how to follow along and turn the pages herself.
☐ I keep board books in the toy box as toys.
☐ I encourage other relatives to read to my child when they visit – grandparents, aunts, uncles, older cousins and so on.
☐ I "write" books together with my child – about herself, our holidays, a family pet, etc.
☐ I have plastic alphabet magnets on the fridge or on a board in my child's room.
☐ I label common objects in my child's room.
☐ When I'm cooking or baking with my child, I read the recipe aloud to her.
☐ If I'm unsure about what books to choose for my child, I feel free to ask a librarian, teacher, bookseller or another parent.
☐ I check out parenting, reading and home schooling sites on the Internet for more ideas on how to help my child to develop her potential.
☐ I have made writing materials freely available for my child – pencils, markers, crayons and paper.
☐ I watch educational shows and videos with my child.
☐ Sometimes my child and I read in unusual places – under a tent, in the park, under a tree or on a picnic – just for the fun of it.
☐ My child has a stuffed animal, game or other toy based on a character from a book.
☐ I have decorated my child's room with a theme or character from a favourite book – posters, curtains, pillows, bedcovers, wallpaper or rugs.
☐ I sing the ABC song to my child.
☐ Sometimes, while reading, I run my finger under the words to help my child understand the connection between what I'm saying and what's written on the page and also to reinforce that English is written (and read) from left to right.