READ IT AGAIN!
Tricia Yates, Pre-K 4 Teacher
Have you ever wondered why your child insists on reading their treasured story over and over? Is this a good thing or do they need variety? Go ahead, read it again. When your child comes to you and asks, “Will you read to me?” you are making a positive investment in your child’s love for reading. Not only are you giving your child that one on one sustained attention that is so important, you’re building a love for reading that will carry them through adulthood. There is a growing amount of research showing strong correlation between reading to a child and their academic success. Go ahead, read it again!
It’s Never Too Soon to Start Reading
Humans naturally seek out relationships and attention from people important to them. Sharing a story is a perfect way to foster this social connection, as well as build reading skills that will last a lifetime. When we read to babies, they hear the changes or inflection in our voice. They see the bright colors as we turn the pages with their little hands, and they learn to distinguish between objects on the page.
- With younger children or prereaders, ask them questions or what they think will happen. Point or draw attention to what you see in the pictures, what you think will happen and show them how excited you are by laughing or gasping. These conversations will help introduce comprehension skills which will later be important to your child’s ability to understand what they’re reading.
- Young children love to rhyme. Take time to identify rhyming words. Stories with rhyming are usually whimsical and funny. Talk about how the words sound similar and how silly it may sound. Nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss are fantastic resources for rhyme along with new vocabulary. Pretty soon, your child will want to make a game out of rhyming. Go ahead, read it again!
- Make reading a nightly routine. Use books as time fillers while waiting for appointments. Our youngest readers have short attention spans, so 5-10 minutes while waiting is precious. In the car ask your child to “read” that favorite book to you. You’ll be astonished at how well your child can imitate your voice and use your inflection skills.
- The more we read or even revisit your child’s favorite, a child starts to build meaning, discover patterns and recognize familiar letters. They build confidence in their ability to remember what comes next. At school they will call that story structure.
- If they love dinosaurs or trucks, read as many books on that treasured topic you can get a hold of. You’re building their knowledge bank for these topics.
Enjoy this time with your child. Not only does it give you as the parent a chance to breathe and relax at the end of the day, your child starts gaining knowledge and exposure to a skill that will benefit them greatly in the future. So go ahead, read it again!