It can also be a special time for your family to be together. But, says Jim Trelease in The Read-Aloud Handbook, there are five things you shouldn't do:
Don't read stories you don't enjoy yourself. Your dislike will show in the reading, and that defeats your purpose.
Don't get overly comfortable while you're reading. If you lie down, you're likely to get drowsy. If you slouch, your voice will lose its energy.
Don't be surprised if your kids interrupt with a lot of questions. And answer their questions right away. "There is no time limit for reading a book," Trelease points out. But there is a time limit on a child's curiosity. Answer the questions and then move on.
Don't confuse quantity with quality. Your child will remember 10 minutes of reading together far longer than he will remember two hours of television.
Don't try to compete with television. Trelease says that if parents ask children whether they'd prefer a story or TV, kids will usually choose television. But, he says, "since you are the adult, you choose." Tell your kids the TV will be turned off at 8:30 p.m. either way. If they want a story, fine. If they don't, that's OK, too. But don't give your kids the idea that books are the reason they can't watch TV.
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