Start now. No matter the age of your children, you can start teaching them to appreciate reading and to want to learn to read for themselves. Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, offers the following guidelines to help parents know what’s appropriate for different stages of development:
With 3- and 4-year-olds, you can start them reading for themselves by teaching initial sounds of letters. Alphabet books, magnetic letters on the fridge and drawing letters on paper can be fun and instructional. "The trick in this is to never quiz your child. Teach letters casually," author Mary Leonhardt writes. Another idea is to write words on index cards and tape them to the things they name, such as a chair or piano.