As both educators and parents, we love giving children every opportunity to value reading in the classroom and at home. When we put our educator hats on, we love the idea that parents can partner in the love of reading to work purposefully with their children to enhance literacy skills and, at the same time, support the literacy work that’s being done at school. When we jump back to parenting mode, we know we have an important role to provide our children with choices when it comes to reading.
We have always allowed our own children to read for pleasure whether it was comic books, the internet, sports magazines, picture books or graphic novels, in order to gage their interest and give them a sense of ownership when reading. Our greatest hope is to encourage reading at home and that our children and families that we work with appreciate and understand the importance of this basic skill.
Tips for reading to children
When you are reading to and with your children at home in the early years, it is important to talk about the pictures in the story, so please do not cover them. Pictures are an important cue for your child to use in order to guess new words, predict what will happen next and to stimulate prior background knowledge, which will eventually aid in your child’s ability to make sense of unknown words.
If your child is an early reader, you may want to take turns reading or point to the words while reading to increase word awareness. For your early readers, make sure to continue to read to them during a time without pressure and allow them to practice when they are ready. Your children will benefit immensely from listening to new stories!
Successful reading at school is achievable if there is support and involvement at home. In our professional experience, there are many forums in which we can achieve a high standard of the love of reading and help support our goal and objective. When reading with your child at home, make sure you have created an interruption-free zone… put those cell phones away! Pick a place to read that is comfortable and inviting.
Remember, childhood memories are made from spending quality time together and reading to and with your child that will follow your children from adolescence and into adulthood. We always are looking for the latest children’s books to stimulate curiosity, guide students level of interest and that support students learning and their educational journey.
Each month, we will be writing a Reading Corner post, featuring some of our favorite books for kids, so check back often to see what we are recommending! You can expect to see the latest releases, themed books and books that we read over and over again.