It was recently Parent/Teacher conference time in many schools across America and it’s always a time that I enjoy. With so many parents working and everyone just plain busy, it’s difficult to connect with the parents and just get a chance to chat. I listen to them, they listen to me and hopefully learn a little more about eachother as we discuss their child. No matter what gets discussed, the conversation turns to one topic always and without fail – reading. It is the number one thing that parents are either most concerned about or curious about. There are so many different levels of reading at this age – some children don’t yet know all of their letters and some are reading on a third grade reading level. This vast spectrum seems to bring a lot of parents anxiety. Here’s a little secret…don’t panic! It is perfectly normal for your child to be on either end or somewhere in the middle. Research shows that most children, even the ones that read early, will generally wind up on similar reading levels down the road as those that didn’t read as early. The earlier readers may have a more advanced vocabulary or slightly further developed comprehension skill set as a result of earlier exposure to and understanding of the literature they read but usually, it is not a huge difference. Here are my suggestions: Read! Read! Read! to your child….immerse them in real literature and text – street signs, restaurant menus, magazines, comic books, newspapers and my FAVORITE…..take them to the library!!!!!!!! It’s free and it’s fun! Make it a weekly date for yourselves and please….get them their very own library card. I PROMISE you- it will ignite a literary spark in them you never even knew existed! Happy reading!