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Get Ready for School

Getting a child to read can be challenging, but a recent survey found that 96 percent of U.S. and Canadian parents recognize the importance of having strong reading skills for school and as an adult.

"As U.S. literacy rates worsen, parents need to make daily reading a priority for themselves and their children. Our society cannot afford a generation that doesn't enjoy reading," says Dr. Mary Mokris, education specialist for Kumon Math and Reading Centers.

The survey for Kumon, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that activities such as playing outside, watching a movie and eating together were more important to today's families than reading together.

"Spending as little as 15 minutes a day reading together helps children of any age improve literacy, analytical and lifelong learning skills while fostering a love for the English language," said Mokris, who offers the following tips to promote literacy at home:

1) Bring reading home-Create a reading area in your house that has comfortable furniture, good lighting and, most importantly, magazines, newspapers and books your children will enjoy.

2) Start a parent-child book club-Parents can learn more about their child's interests and children will get more comfortable reading and sharing in front of peers.

3) Read the book, watch the movie and discuss-It gives children and adults an opportunity to discuss the content, dilemmas and moral implications of the story. This combination sharpens both comprehension and decoding abilities, two of the most important skills for learning.

4) Physical reading-Make reading a part of your outdoor playtime. Read to your child and ask him to act out what he has just heard. Older children can read a play and then perform it.

5) Read and explore-Have each family member choose an area attraction that he or she would like to visit. Have older children read about the area and play tour guide for the day.

Need help selecting books that appeal to your child's interests or reading ability? Kumon Math and Reading Centers offers a free Recommended Reading List, which includes a range of 350 titles for any reading level. You can stop by a Kumon Center for a copy.

For Kumon locations, visit www.kumon.com or call (800) ABC-MATH.

Reading can be a family affair when parents look for books that the whole family can enjoy reading together.

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