Today, I am writing from a different perspective – the grandparent one. Not only am I lucky enough to be called by that wonderful name, I also happen to know that many of the inquiries that we receive at Reading Horizons is from grandparents who are worried about a grandchild who is a struggling reader. And the news on that front isn’t so good: As many as 8 million children between the ages of 4 and 13 are affected by reading problems.

What can we do to help our grandchildren love books and reading? And how do we help if it’s apparent that there is some sort of reading struggle or learning disability?  One idea is from an earlier blog that highlights David McCullough and A Book on Every Bed initiative. But there’s more that we, as grandparents, can do to foster a love of reading down through the generations.

First, let’s be the example. Keep books (for all ages) lying about the house and, if possible, read out loud to your grandchildren whenever possible. Research has shown that reading aloud to a child is the single most important factor in raising a child who loves to read. Not all grandparents live close by. If you live far away – send a recording of you, reading a book, along with the book itself. There’s also an organization called United through Reading that allows grandparents to read a special book for their grandchildren and weave in family legacies while being recorded on DVD. There is a small fee for the service.

Other ideas include:

Starting an infant's library with a basket of books as a shower or baby gift

Taking grandchildren to the library

Helping your grandchild become a successful reader by downloading a free Reading Horizons eBook.

It’s good to be a grandparent.