It's that time of year when everyone is getting ready to go back to school. An important part of that preparation involves brushing up on our school skills and reigniting kids' excitement for learning. Here are a few tips to foster your child's love for reading.
1. Read, Read, and Read some more! Reading is one of the single most important educational traditions you and your child can have. Reading to children often and providing children with regular opportunities to enjoy books is one of the most effective ways to hook kids on books and shape positive attitudes toward reading. Set aside time to read to and with your child daily.
A great new way to help your child love learning to read at an early age is the VTech? V.Reader? Animated E-Book system. The V.Reader shares stories centered on many of your child’s favorite characters. V.Reader also includes a variety of interactive letter, vocabulary and comprehension games.
Visit your local library or bookstore and encourage your child to select books that are of high interest to them. Empowering your budding reader to make choices is motivational. You can look for your own personal favorites in the children’s section and share them with your child too.
2. Encourage your child to make powerful predications. Ask your child to make predictions before and occasionally during the reading of a book. Younger children can take a picture walk through a book. A picture walk is simply taking time to flip through the pages of a book looking at the pictures and talking about what the story may be about.Making predictions helps readers approach reading experiences with expectations and as they read they can check to see if those expectations were correct.
3. Ask your child to make connections to the books they are reading. Making meaningful connections means thinking and talking about what you already know about the book’s topic, events or characters’ experiences based on your own personal experiences and knowledge base. Encourage your child to make these types of connections as they read. Making meaningful connections results in better comprehension and helps readers relate and pick up new knowledge from books more easily.
4. Talk about the story after you read! What surprised you about the story? What was your favorite part of the story? What would you do if you were one of the characters in the book? These are just a few examples of questions you could ask your child after reading to encourage conversations about the story and reinforce comprehension.
5. Encourage your child to write regularly. Writing plays an important role in your child’s reading development by helping them think about letters, sounds and words. There are many ways to encourage writing:
Go outside with some colorful sidewalk chalk and have kids write their names, draw a picture, or make a rainbow of letters and words!
Older children can create their own special personal journal where they can draw pictures and write about them, create stories or simply write about their day.