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Daily routines, or habits, are comforting. Adults and children flourish with set routines because we know what to expect and what is expected of us. In addition to already established household and school routines, a daily reading routine can have a great impact upon your child's level of reading success. With recurrent time dedicated to reading, your youngster will be given the message that reading is a valued activity in your home. By spending happy, quality time reading together, the habit of reading for pleasure will be developed.

Regularly reading together provides your child with a live reading model. Without it being obvious, your little one is soaking up the vocabulary, the reading strategies, the nuances of language, and the authors' styles from the books you choose to read. Because it is routine, he is benefiting from those regular doses of literacy over and over again. Each new reading experience is building upon the previous one.

A reading routine in its most basic form is when a parent reads to his/her child in the evening before bed. This practice is highly effective in strengthening your little one's reading abilities and is the most widely used reading routine. As the interest of my own two children began to waver regarding our evening reading routine, I began to slightly adjust the ways we read together to maintain their attention. I added humor to our reading sessions (Character Voices), changed the venue (Dinner Notes), and designed a special reading place in our home (Reading Chair). These slight variations made it feel like we were doing something new, but the objective was the same. We were routinely reading together.

Shake up your reading routine a little bit when it begins to feel like just another chore. Children need to know that there are many different ways to enjoy the same activity. The underlying truth you'll want them to absorb is that routine reading makes them lifelong learners.

"I had just taken to reading. I had just discovered the art of leaving my body to sit impassive in a crumpled up attitude in a chair or sofa, while I wandered over the hills and far away in novel company and new scenes… My world began to expand very rapidly … the reading habit had got me securely."   – H.G. Wells (1866–1946), English writer