Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back to School Countdown #15: Reading

When I was growing up my sister spent a lot of time in the hospital having various surgeries and treatments for a rare brain defect she was born with. When she would leave to go to different parts of the country to see specialists my mother would often travel with her, and they wanted to bond with the rest of the kids (I have five siblings) while we were at home. They found one of the best ways to do that was to read some of our favorite books on video so we could watch and read along at home. One of our absolute favorites is the book called the MONSTER at the end of this Book by Jon Stone.

It is a hilarious book about being scared of monsters, but finding that there was nothing really to be afraid of in the end. It always made us laugh, even though we knew every page, and exactly how it ended.

Reading to your child is an essential foundation to becoming a strong and confident reader in school. It is also a great way to bond through having a little time each day to spend together. Daily reading with your child has also been shown to increase the yearly income of a person by $50,000 a year!

So what should you do?
  • Try to read 20 minutes every day, but even a few minutes can go a long way!
  • Start from birth and continue through elementary school (even if they can't read or see the page properly, you're helping your newborn to understand language and communication by listening to your voice)
  • If you haven't done this already, it is never too late to start!
    • Go to your local library and pick out a few books together
    • Often, teachers will send books home for children to read during the school year
    • Set up an exchange with friends and other parents to trade and get ideas on books that might interest your child
  • Let your child read things that interest them!!!!!!
    • If your child absolutely loves how-to books, chapter books with an interesting story and no pictures, or science books, let them be passionate about what they read (promoting life-long readers!)
    • If they haven't found an interest yet, try different genres. Just as we find our favorite foods, we have to find the books that make us want to read.
So what books does your child love?

For more information check out The Children's Reading Foundation page for parents.

Also, for help on getting your child ready for kindergarten check out READY! for Kindergarten.

Finally, for a database of over 800 children's books categorized by author, title, genre, and level check out EagerReaders.com.

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