Make Your Child a Reader
Experts believe that reading to your child is one of the most important things you can do for your child.
Here are some ideas to help build literacy skills while keeping it fun for your child and you.
Read Everyday- Try to read with your child every day at least for 15 minutes. Bedtime usually is an ideal time to read together. You could read to them in any language, it’s the love of reading that we are building on.
Cuddle, hold your child- Sit with your child on your lap or cuddle on the bed, let your child hold the book or help you turn the pages.
Voice Modulation- Read with fun in your voice, use your face, body and voice to make reading fun. Use different voices for different characters and settings.
Stop when needed- If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away and don’t force them to read with you. Stop the reading and do something else that your child might enjoy at that time. You can read again the next day or a little later in the day.
Look at the pictures– Point to the pictures on each page and talk about them, they could describe the pictures and build on their vocabulary.
Show them words- As you read, run your fingers along the bottom of the words, Soon your child will realize that ‘print conveys meaning’, they will see words are read and not pictures.
Tell them how you enjoyed reading- Say how much this time means to you and it’s the favorite part of your day. Make them feel the joy of ‘story time’.
Fill your house with books- Surround your child with books, try to have as many books as you can for your child as well as for other members of the family. Pick up books from second-hand stores, garage sales or library book sales.
Let your child choose- Let your child pick out his or her own book for the nightly reading time. Make it fun and follow their interest, it’s one way to keep them connected to what is being read
Make books and reading special- Do things that will make books and reading special. Do activities that are related to stories, use books as rewards or surprises.
Show them all the parts of the book- The cover, illustrations, author and even the page numbers. Show them how we read from left to right and top to bottom. Show them the spaces between each word as well. Teach them book handling skills from an early age.
Make it interactive- Ask your child questions related to the story, discuss what’s happening, ask them to predict what will happen next or change the ending if they would like a twist in the story. Encourage them to ask you questions during the story, make connections to the story and your child’s life.
Read it again!- Your child may want to hear the story over and over again…and that’s great it shows you how much they love the book….repeat the books as often as your child asks, soon you can ask them to narrate the story by looking at the pictures. They can pretend to be ‘reading it to you’.
Encourage them- If they show interest in a particular topic or like a book of an author you can encourage them by getting more books on the same subject or by the author they liked, this will keep their interests in books soaring.
Take turns- Once they learn to read, you can take turns reading the pages of the books or the days.
The most important thing to remember is that reading should be an enjoyable experience. Create positive experiences and memories with books, this will ensure a lifelong love for reading.