By Renee Thompson
Many parents recognize the joys of reading to their children. Story time is a cherished tradition in many homes; however, there is a deeper level of literacy education that parents can explore, with good reason. According to the National Education Association, having kids read a lot is one of the crucial components of becoming a good reader. Young readers need to become practiced at recognizing letters and sounds. The only way to get good at it is to practice.
“Developing strong reading skills is a crucial part of each child’s education. In fact, reading proficiency can impact all areas of a child’s current and future life potential. Parents’ attitudes and behaviors related to literacy also have a huge impact on how children view reading,” according to Richard Peterson, vice president of education for Kiddie Academy (www.KiddieAcademy.com) who offers the following reading tips for parents:
Family Reading Tips That May Surprise You:
1. Read The Same Book Over and Over
Although it may make parents crazy, reading the same book to a child multiple times has real educational benefits. Young children like to predict what will happen in a story. The repetition helps a child to create brain connections and build confidence in their literacy skills.
2. Going to the Library is Still Important
Even in our digital age, a trip to the library remains a valuable family activity. Making the time in your busy schedule for a library visit demonstrates your interest and support of reading. A library is full of inspiration that can help your child discover and explore a variety of interests. Caring for and returning a library book also builds an understanding of time and responsibility.
3. Kids Should Read Adult Books
No, you shouldn’t hand over your copy of the latest romance novel. However, when choosing reading materials, don’t limit your choices to “kid” books. For example, if your son shows an interest in cars, allow him to explore a car repair manual or car-centered magazines. Seeing a wide range of written text reinforces that reading is an important skill that everyone needs.
4. Interaction During Story Time is Key
Reading aloud to your child has proven lifelong literacy benefits. However, while reading a story, it’s also important to stop to talk about the story to further engage her in the process. You can ask questions about the story, talk about the emotions related to the story or even create an alternate ending. You’ll elevate story time from a passive to an active pursuit, making for a richer experience.
5. Children Need to See Parents Reading for Pleasure
All kids are born mimics – it’s how humans learn, by repeating behaviors they observe. Multiple studies show that children who see their parents reading for pleasure are much more likely to become strong readers themselves. Allow your child to “catch” you reading a book, magazine or e-book, and talk about what reading means to you.
BMWK, Have you tried any of these tips?
Renee Thompson is the Director of Curriculum for national educational child care provider Kiddie Academy (www.KiddieAcademy.com).