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Some parents are frustrated at the lack of time and attention that their child pays to reading. Reading as a leisure-time activity may not exist for their child, and they are not quite sure why. Indeed, many children won't ever pick up a book to pore through unless it has been assigned by a teacher.

Reading is extremely important though; children will be reading in all subjects throughout their school years. The more a child reads, the better he will get at it, making learning across the curriculum easier and more interesting for him.

The "trick" then, is for parents and teachers of elementary school students to find the child's interest and use it to their advantage by finding books and other reading material that feeds that interest. If a child enjoys baseball, a subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids would be a welcome treat, as would a trip to the public library to find a book on Hank Aaron or Mickey Mantle. Similarly, girls who are enamored with gymnastics and young Olympian Tara Lipinski would be interested in books on this subject, or one of the many fun biographies on Ms. Lipinski.

Students who enjoy music, space, travel, cartoons, and television will all be quite pleased to be given a book or magazine on their favorite subjects. The unprecedented success of Harry Potter proves that if children are given something that they find interesting and fun to read, they will read it and then look for more of the same.

Don't make the common mistake of expecting your child to be reading books that you suggest. Tom Sawyer may not be where his interest lies right now, but Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Don Sobol) might be right up his alley! Watch your child's reading progress at a measurable pace when you provide him with materials he is interested in!