August 21, 2010
Tips to Get Your Child off to a Good Reading Start:
1. Read to Your Baby: It’s never too early to introduce your child to books. “Read” board books to your infant, put cloth books in the crib, and float plastic books in the tub. Your kids will grow up with the idea that books are an integral part of their lives.
2. Make Time For Books: Set aside a specific time to read to your child everyday. Naptime and bedtime are obvious opportunities, but some busy families find that a story over breakfast or while lounging in the tub works best for them.
3. Keep Books Available: Make it easy to read. Keep a sack of books in the car to divert kids while you’re running errands and on the nightstand to amuse early risers. Pack a variety of books when traveling.
4. Be a Reading Role Model: Show your kids that you value reading. Let them see that you are reading for pleasure, and tell them how much you enjoy reading with them. Take them along on trips to the library and bookstore.
5. Make Your Own Books: Preschoolers can dictate their own stories and then add illustrations. Other ideas? Make a holiday book that shows your family traditions, a birthday book recording party memories, or a travel diary about the family vacation.
6. Read Anything and Everything: On the road, encourage your child to read the Stop, Yield, and Walk signs. In the grocery store, ask the kids to find the juice or cereal they want. Learning to differentiate among packages and to recognize common road signs is a great beginning step in learning to read.
7. Play with Letters: Magnetic letters allow children to spell their name on the refrigerator. Letter blocks combine stacking and spelling for double the fun.
8. Read it Again and Again: Parents may get tired of reading the same favorite book over and over, but repetition is an important developmental step in learning to read. As they repeat the familiar refrains with you, children begin to associate the words they say with the words on the page. Soon they will be recognizing and reading the words on their own.