Ready, Set, Read!
When my son, Michael, was four years old someone gave him a video of his favorite movie “Star Wars.” The problem was he could not yet read. So, each time the movie started, as the words began to crawl, he would drag his older sister (who was six and could read) over to the screen, yelling “Read it Megan, read it, read it!”
She would read the opening words again and again to him, “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” She patiently read it to him until he could read it himself.
Reading together often is an important way to help your young child learn to read. Yet, it is how and what you read together that can increase your child’s comprehension.
Here are six simple ways to enrich your child’s reading experiences:
- Read from a variety of children’s books, including fiction, non-fiction, fairy tales, poems, etc.
- When reading a story together try using different voices for different characters. Doing this really holds your child’s interest, while helping him understand different characters in the story.
- While reading to your child don’t forget to pay attention to the punctuation marks. Slightly raise your voice when there is a question mark, or sound excited when there is an exclamation mark.
- Re-read a favorite story again and again. Once your child knows it by heart, make a little “mistake.” Read a word incorrectly, or leave out a word and let your child correct you!
- When reading to your child point word by word as you read. This promotes a natural “left-to-right” progression.
- Most importantly, while reading together make as many “self-to-text” connections as you can. A “self-to-text” connection simply means that your child makes a personal connection from something in the story to their own life. The best way to do this is to stop and ask questions while reading. For example, “Do you remember the time we made that chocolate cake together?” or “Did you ever feel like that?”
These simple strategies can have a powerful impact in creating strong readers!
Next Week: Ready, Set, Math