Reading With My Family & Recommended Books

Parent & Family Engagement, Who We Are | 08/31/2016

Toya Fick
Executive Director

As executive director, Toya guides the strategy and policy work at Stand for Children Oregon.

One of the most important things a parent can do to prepare their child for academic success is to read with their child for at least 20 minutes every day. Research has proven that early literacy is one of the biggest predictors of whether or not a student will end up graduating from high school on time.

In our home, here is how that reading routine goes…

We have two kiddos: a 6-year-old girl (who started first grade this week!) and an almost-3-year-old boy. My husband reads with one and I read with the other every evening, then we switch the next night. This allows us to read for at least 45 minutes to each kid - on their level - before bed.

We typically have more time to sit and read during the weekends. A phenomenal public library is within 3 blocks of our house, so we spend a good bit of our time there. I definitely recommend giving your library card a lot of exercise; public libraries have so many great options so you don’t have to read the same things over and over.

Some of our favorite books to read are:

  • The Magic Tree House series – This series is great for infusing a little history and factual information about the world into our reading material.
  • Roxaboxen – A beautiful story about a group of kids who come together and form a pretend community. It’s sweet book about the power of play and imagination.
  • The Camping Trip that Changed America – We live in Oregon, and my kids love the outdoors. It’s really cool to read a kid-friendly book about how the national parks were created and how important it is to preserve nature for them and future children.
  • The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss - A classic story about how ridiculous it is to judge people based on outward appearances.
  • The Story of Ruby Bridges – My little girl was so moved by her courage! 


  • Where the Wild Things Are – Another classic about the power of imagination.
  • Salt in His Shoes – A story about Michael Jordan (written by his mom) and how he practiced every day and ate his vegetables while growing up. It’s a great story about perseverance, and it has helped us in convince my little guy to eat his veggies.
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect - A great series of books about little kids who are really good at something (geometry, building things, etc.) and are, at first, shunned by teachers, family, and friends for being quirky and weird. But the kids keep at it. Eventually, they save the day and everyone is thrilled about their amazing abilities.

What are your reading routines? What are your family’s favorite books? Tell us in the comments!

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