“When I say to a parent, “read to a child”, I don’t want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. ” — Mem Fox

I bet you’ve heard of the 3 R’s: reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. But have you heard of the 5R’s? If you haven’t, you are going to be surprised.

According to Dr. Pamela High of The American Academy of Pediatrics, the 5 R’s are strategies for early childhood intervention that promote literacy.

The 5 R’s:

  1. Reading

    Reading to children gives them your (the parent) undivided attention while building language skills. Reading aloud to young children gives them a foundation that prepares them for kindergarten so that when they enter kindergarten ready to learn to read. When children learn to read, they are more likely to graduate from high school. Statistics state that if children are not reading by the 4th grade, they are at risk and more likely to drop out of high school making it difficult to be successful in their life and career.

    Reading aloud to your children is something simple to build into your routine that is packed with power. There is power in the parent-child nurturing relationship that takes place when you read aloud to your child.5 R's

  2. Rhyming

    Rhyming and singing are critical language develop skills that set your child up for success in reading. Read lots of rhymes. Make up silly rhymes and jingles. Sing songs.

    This Reading Mama has a wonderful list of rhyming books you can sing.

  3. Routines

    When my children were young, we instilled a routine of dinner, bath, books, and bed. Some nights, I was tired and didn’t read 10 books (like my kids wanted), but I always at least mustered the energy to read 1 or 2. It is important to have a routine because it creates secure children. Additionally, a routine ensures that some things like reading aloud don’t fall through the cracks.

    Make reading aloud to your children a priority in your daily routine and you will see their literacy skills soar. (Naturally, we read aloud to our kids any time throughout the day that they brought us a book or time allowed, but having a read aloud time programed into our schedule made sure it happened.)

  4. Rewards

    I think everyone likes praise. At least, I know I do. When my husband praises me for a task around the home, it makes me want to do it all the more. So it is with our children. Praise them for reading. Be sure the praise is specific such as the following: It is so wonderful to read with you. I love it when you talk about the books we just read. You are learning to read well. Etc.

    Praise is a reward. However, you can also create a reward chart for tasks that you’d like accomplished. We rewarded our children with screen time when they read by themselves. For every minute they read, we gave them a minute of screen time. This worked well as a reward in our family.5 R's

  1. Relationships

    Reading aloud to your child develops the parent-child relationship bond. It creates warm and friendly memories. This is a cherished time together. Spending time with your child, needs to be established in your routine. Make it purposeful. When you do, you’ll develop a strong, nurturing relationship with your child that in turn sets them up for future success.

The 5 R’s all center around reading aloud to your child. It is the single most important thing you do to set them up for future success. Check out the following resources to help you get started reading aloud to your child.

Read Alouds – Ages 2- 6: Brown Bear and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom are still two of my favorites to read aloud to this age group.

Read Alouds – Ages 7- 12

Read Alouds – Ages 13- 17

Free on line read aloud library- Unite For Literacy

Let’s make a positive difference~ one word at a time.


Please share this article with others that you think would benefit from these tips. Also, please ask any questions that you may have about teaching children reading or writing. Leave your questions in the comments. I’ll answer. 🙂

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Photo Credit: brainconnectivity