Grow A Reader!
Posted February 7, 2011on:
The National Center for Family Literacy http://www.famlit.org/ inspires me with down–to–earth ideas for families that will help their babies and young children become readers. The ideas the NCFL offer are far from cutting edge and they actually don’t cost a thing. But there is no doubt that the simple (yet critical) ideas presented actually work. Literacy seeds sown early will grow readers. Children will read better and with more interest as they grow and mature when their family sets reading as a priority.
Have you got a few minutes a day to grow a reader? Good!
Plant reading seeds – your blossoms will bloom forever.
1. Make reading a pleasure. Read to your child in a comfortable well-lit place that you both enjoy. Hold a baby on your lap. Snuggle up with a little one. Sit close to an older child. Smile and look at both the book and in your child’s eyes as you read. Take your time when you read to your child. Don’t rush and hurry. Reading is joyful!
2. Show enthusiasm as you read to your child. You know that you can bark and moo and cluck like chickens. I know that you can beep like a truck’s horn and choo-choo-choo like the train. Clowns are silly and bees buzz. Whisper & shout, tap & clap, laugh & cry when you read to your children. Reading is exhilarating!
3. Read to your child often. Whether it is reading labels in the super market or setting a reading routine that establishes time and energy spent with books, never miss the chance to read to your child. The world is rich with the printed word. Literacy is critical to success in every aspect of your child’s life. 5 minutes or 5 books—Reading is powerful.
4. Talk to your child as you read together. Point to pictures in the story and talk about them. Let your child ask questions along the way and ask your child What do you think will happen?…Did you see that cat?..Can you huff & puff, let’s try to blow that house down… Comment on what you think about a book and ask for your child’s opinions. Start a reading conversation. Reading connects people.
5. Encourage your child to explore books. Let your baby touch, hold and throw books! Board books and washable cloth books invite babies to look at, move and even chew on stories! A toddler loves a basket of books she can rummage through by herself. Toddlers never tire of story books about pets, animals and young children just like themselves. Preschoolers will “read” to their babies and carry books in their purses. Take older children to the library and bookstores where they can find books about anything and everything! Reading opens the doors of the world.
6. Read favorite books again and again. Children become attached to certain stories and books. They love everything about them. Adults who try to skip pages or hurry through a favorite story are told about it (even by very young toddlers!). Respect children’s favorites. Keep a journal. Take pictures of your child with their favorite book. Reading is your child’s best friend.
Are you ready for a Birthday Party? Dr. Seuss will be 107 this March!
Invite some friends over for some Green Eggs and Ham!
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director