Taking the time to read has many benefits for your little ones. Not only does reading to your child ignite their imagination and creativity, but it expands their understanding of language and the world around them. Reading with children takes them on adventures to sights they may not otherwise see in their day-to-day lives and exposes them to words and phrases they may not typically hear. When read to, children begin to develop listening skills all while enhancing their concentration and ability to focus. Listening to a variety of age appropriate texts will enhance children's vocabulary, will help them learn to read and write, and will develop a love for literature.
1. Make reading a part of your everyday routine.
2. Be engaging.
Use voice inflection, change your voice for characters, and read with enthusiasm.
3. Take a picture walk.
You can take a picture walk before reading a story by examining details on each pages. Talk about what may be happening in the beginning, middle, and end of a story. Point out objects and details such as the colors and shapes you see. Talk/ask about how characters may be feeling based on their body language in the pictures. Try letting your little one tell you a story, just by looking at the pictures, creating their own imaginative narrative.
4. Ask questions throughout the story.
What happened first? In the middle? Last? How are characters feeling? Where does the story take place? What’s the problem? How was it solved?
5. After reading, have your child re-tell the story back to you.
You child can look back and retell the story while looking at the pictures or just by memory. If they have a difficult time re-telling the story, ask questions while looking at specific pictures. Model retelling the story to them.
6. Talk about the different parts of a book.
Point out the front and back cover, spine, title page, pages, letters that make up words, and words separated by spaces.
7. Point to words while your read and let your little one turn the pages.
This can help children as they begin to read, teaching them tracking, and that we read left to right.
8. Choose a variety of texts, while also re-reading your child’s favorites.
This allows for children to become familiar with all types of texts, deciding what they like to read the most. When they find favorites, re-reading the same story builds vocabulary and word recognition. It is great for building fluency skills, improving comprehension, and allows children to hear patterns and rhythm of text.
9. Visit the local library.
Experience picking out new books, join in with a community read-aloud, letting your child hear stories from a variety of readers.
10. Enjoy reading and have fun!
Be silly, act stories out, and simply enjoy spending quality time with your little one.
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we actually are.” - Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection.
We all want our children to grow up to have positive self-esteem and to love who they have become, inside and out. We want them to become the person they set out to be, and teach them that they can accomplish whatever they set their mind to. Authenticity is one key value that can help define these morals. Teaching children to recognize their true feelings, needs, and values can lead to enhanced self-confidence and positive relationships throughout their life.