The College School

By: Betsey Coleman

One of the questions that I am most asked about as a literacy teacher is how can I help my child with reading at home?  I am happy to say that as a veteran reading teacher, the answer is quite simple. Have your child read, and take an interest in their reading.  Here are five ways that I share literature with my children, Ryan (grade 5) and Grace (grade 3):

  1.  Suggest a book to your child that you read as a child.  It should be no surprise, but kids want to please their parents and share common interests with them.  Your child will enjoy reading a book and you will have a lot to talk to them about as you share a book that you’ve both read.
  2. Have your child read a book about a place or a piece of history, then go and visit that place or piece of history.  Some of our favorite times as a family have been after we’ve shared a book together and then gone to visit the place.  One summer, my son, Ryan, took an interest in the Revolutionary War. We went to the library, read every book we could find about the Revolutionary War, and then visited the Revolutionary War Museum in Philadelphia.  It was such a rich experience for all of us when we were able to connect with the artifacts that we were seeing in the museum because we had developed our background knowledge through the books that we read.

Additionally, we love to visit Disney as a family and miss it when we can’t get there! This is why we love The Kingdom Keepers series of books that features a great plot in a setting that we love – Disney world!

  1. Do you ever get tired of your children fighting and arguing in the car?  Well, I do! So, my answer to peace and quiet in the car has been listening to books on CD, or audio book through an app on my car  We have been doing this for over four years now and we’ve listened to so many great stories that my kids now ask for the book as soon as we get into the car.  We all go to the library together and take turns picking out the book that we’ll listen to in the car. It has turned out to something that we all look forward to doing! (Coincidentally, listening to stories happens to be one of the most important Common Core Standards that children are required to learn in school!)
  2. I was in the library recently and saw a sign for a Mother-Daughter book club.  While my daughter Grace and I were unavailable for the book club, the book, Laura Ingalls Wilder is Ruining My Life caught my attention.  A lover of Laura Ingalls and Little House on the Prairie, I knew this would be a book that I would love.  I borrowed a copy of the book from the library, ordered an additional used copy from Amazon, and voila! Grace and I had our own book club.  We would alternate between reading together and reading independently, but then during our time together, we would talk about the book and share our thoughts.  It was a great bonding experience and we’re look for our next title.
  3. Finally, the last way I share literature with my kids is by taking them to the library.  My kids LOVE the library because it’s the one time that I never say no to getting anything that they want.  I am also always amazed at how easy it is to get all of the books that we love, right at our library, for FREE.  After you have your library card, all you need to do is log in online and reserve any book that you want at

Then, wherever the book may be in the state of Delaware, it will be transported right to your choice of library.  Audiobooks, on the other hand, simply require you to download the Overdrive App, then load your library card information and pin, and thousands of books are at your fingertips for listening.  I love the convenience of both of these, and my kids get to enjoy any book that they want!

These are just some of the ways that I share literature with my kids, but I would love to hear how you share literature with your children, too!