Part of an ongoing series highlighting the easy, no-cost ways that you can prepare your child for learning to read, today Christina will be discussing the benefits of reading with your child.
Reading to your child is a fun and easy way to help prepare your child to read. Even the act of opening a book is teaching your child how a book works and what you do with it. Reading to your child will increase your child’s vocabulary, their general knowledge, prepare them for what letters and punctuation look like, as well as help create a bond between you and your child. Children enjoy reading because they are spending time with you and children who enjoy being read to are much more likely to be interested in learning to read on their own when they are older.
Things to Keep in Mind When Reading to Your Child:
Read to your child every day.
Don’t worry about how well you read. What is important is the interaction you have with your child. If you create a reading time, this will become a ritual your child will look forward to. While many parents read to their child at bedtime, it can be any time you pick when you are not feeling rushed.
Involve your child with the story.
Let your child turn the pages. Talk to your child about the book, ask questions as you read and listen to what your child says. Let them point things out. Discuss the meaning of new words to help build their vocabulary. At the end of the story, let your child retell it in their own words to help build their listening comprehension.
It’s okay to read the same story over and over.
Even though adults get tired reading the same story all the time, your child is learning vocabulary and story patterns by memorizing the story. It is also fun for them to be able to predict what will happen. We all like to know things. This starts at an early age.
Ask your librarian for book suggestions appropriate for your child’s age and current interests. If you are concerned about your child tearing pages, ask for board books which have cardboard pages.
It is never too soon or too late to start reading. The sooner you begin reading to your child the more they learn and the more fun you have together sharing.
Participate in reading programs like the library’s summer reading program which begins June 6th or the national book program 1000 Books Before Kindergarten which begins April 30th.These programs can give you and your child goals to keep you focused on reading regularly and add another element of fun. Ask at the Children’s Desk for details.