Read regularly to your children
Reading to your child is VERY important. Many of us think that because our child reads already, they do not need us to read with them anymore. Even when your child can read for themselves, reading to them and with them is important for 4 reasons.
- You can both regularly enjoy precious, quiet moments together. Many of us live in a hectic and noisy world and there are often not enough quiet moments in the day when you sit and do something with your child. Quiet moments before the next activity will refresh you both and renew your bond with each other.
- You can both learn more about each other. Reading together will create the time to learn more from each other. Reading and discussing a story or factual account can lead to the sharing of thoughts and feelings on related topics and bring you closer together.You will be amazed about the opinions and ideas your child has and what they think about. As well, your child can learn more about your values, your ideas and your ‘take on the world’.
- Your child learns from your example that reading is fun. Many children see reading as a chore, and some see it as very hard and boring work. Sharing the enjoyment of a book you are both interested in shows them over time how much fun reading can be.
- Last but certainly not least, you hand your child the tools to do very well with reading and writing skills, by giving them a wider vocabulary and a deeper understanding of ideas. This means they can move beyond just the functional reading of words, and read for deeper understanding of the concepts and characters and happenings in the story. Many children are not understanding all the words they read, and so miss the deeper meaning of the story. Also they might not always understand all the ideas they are reading about. This means that although they may generally understand the plot, they miss out on how funny or how exciting the story actually is. It is a good idea to keep your explanations quick and simple so that they continue to follow the plot but you can be their dictionary and can quickly and simply explain what new words mean so that they can enjoy the story more thoroughly.
- Read books that your child is interested in, but cannot quite read themselves because the words are too hard for them.
- Read books you enjoyed as a child or think you will enjoy now because then you will read with pleasure and your child will listen with pleasure.
- Get your child to follow the words with their eyes as you read. Then they can learn new reading vocabulary in a fun and painless fashion.
- Get your child to share-read the words they know, or share-read sentence by sentence for some of the story.
- Do not read beyond their ability to concentrate so monitor how well they are listening to you.
- Read with expression!
- Always stop at an exciting cliffhanger when possible and then they will be eager to read with you the next reading time.