The list of tasks to teach our kids seems endless: going to the potty, cleaning up after themselves, dressing themselves, and brushing their teeth. It seems like every day is one long to-do list.

Another of those tasks – maybe one of the most important – is getting your child interested in reading and writing. Some children take to it right away. For others, it seems like a chore. And a bore. That makes a parents’ job even more difficult.

Our five-year-old still rolls his eyes each time my wife or I mention working on learning sight words or reading his beginning reading books. We practically have to beg him to do it.

But there are a few tricks that we’ve learned.

Here are a few that might help you, too.

1. Take Your Time and Choose Your Timing Carefully

You must truly be patient when working with your child on reading and writing. They may get frustrated and if they feel anxious or pressured, they will want to work with you even less. That’s a losing proposition. Make sure that you have lots of time set aside and that nothing is planned to interrupt your efforts.

2. You Must Be Disciplined

It’s best to make it part of your daily routine. Set aside 10 minutes after breakfast each morning or before bedtime, if that works for you. If your child gets into a routine where this work is part of her daily schedule, it will go a lot smoother.

3. Make Sure That Your Child is Ready for This Work

If you start and realize that they’re not quite up to the challenge, you should back off and give them some space for a bit. If you push it and they resist, it will be harder to begin again.

4. Get Your Props Ready

Go online and print out a list of sight words and make flash cards out of them. Patiently drill your preschooler on learning a few of the words each day. If you accomplish a handful a day, you’ll be off to a good start.

Another resource for reading are the “Bob” Books. They are built for beginning readers with simple, repetitive words and phrases that help cement those words and phrases into your child’s head. Also, the books progress as you go forward, challenging your young reader.

5. Buy Beginning Reading Books That Include Your Child's Interests

Is your son into superheroes? Find books for his age range on Superman. Is your daughter into Disney? Again, find books to help her read based on Disney stories. If they like they topic, they’re more likely to be invested.

Also, you don’t have to read an entire book. If your child is not into it on a given day, just read three or four pages. It’s better than nothing.

When it comes to writing, there’s a lot to cover. Begin with holding their pencil correctly and ask them to trace over letters in a workbook. Once they get the hang of that, work on writing the first few letters in their name. That might take weeks to accomplish.

Once they’re better at writing, have them write words of the items they love, like their favorite toy, pet or friend. Again, if they’re invested in the topic, they’re more likely to put forward the effort to get better.

If your child is making headway, don’t forget to reward them. This isn’t easy stuff we’re throwing at them and they’d much rather be out playing with their sister or friends. A special treat or small toy will go a long way towards keeping them motivated.