Improve your child's reading skills and self confidence

I have always loved reading.  One summer as a young teenager, I picked up a hammock at a garage sale for a few dollars, recruited help from one of the toddlers that I babysat and cleared out a spot between two trees in my backyard and spent my summer reading The Babysitters Club book series.

Once I had children of my own, that love of reading continued and some of the best memories I have of my three kids are of them on my lap reading book after book after book before naptime.

We have always had a house full of books {thank you local library!} and a never ending supply of reading material. I'm thankful that all of my children love reading and almost always have a good book or two that they are knee deep into.

Several years ago, when we got our first family pet, a golden retriever named Sophie, the younger kids started reading to her. They would curl up on her bed and enjoy being close to her.

Sophie is about 75 pounds heavier and my kids are several years older, but they still enjoy curling up with Sophie to read to her. Like most things in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it. Reading is no different. Not only does reading improve a child's vocabulary, it also increases fluency, improves concentration, opens up a world of imagination and increases academic performance in all areas, not just in reading.

Did you know that the University of California found that reading to dogs can actually increase a child's reading ability? Sometimes a child's best listener is the family pet!

Reading out loud to your pet is a great way for kids to start developing skills that they will need in the classroom.  Children improve their reading skills and their self-confidence so that the next time they are called on to read a paragraph in class, they are prepared to share.

Happy reading!
Rachel and Sophie

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