One of the most important things a parent can do is develop a life-long love of books in their child. Emilie Buchwald so aptly stated that “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” As you read to your child, model a love of reading, and provide a wide variety of books for your child to read, you are enlarging their world, inspiring creativity, and setting them on a path towards life-long learning.
“So please, oh please, we beg and pray, go and throw your tv set away! And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” ~Roald Dahl
Reading should occur DAILY in the home. However, if you want to boost your child’s literacy development and super-charge their reading abilities, aim to have reading to, with, and by your child each day.
- Read TO your child daily!
Carve out dedicated story time each and every day. Find a time that works for both you and your child. I found that story time works best for us in the late mornings, rather than at bedtime. Snuggle up and share a chapter of a book, or 2-3 picture books together each day.
- Read WITH your child daily!
Find books with repetitive phrases, predictable text (such as rhymes), or books based on popular children’s songs, etc. that he/she can join in with as you read.
Another component of reading WITH your child involves modeling through choral reading. When you and your child are reading an emergent text together (such as the Scholastic Level 1 Readers), read a page aloud to your child. Next, have him/her read the page WITH you. On the third try, allow your child to read the page on their own. Your reading will provide an accurate model of phrasing and fluency, and the repetition will help cement new sight words and build their confidence.
- Reading BY your child daily!
Your child can and should have time “reading” before he/she can actually decode the words on the page! Have your child look at books, tell the story using the pictures, etc. (More on pre-reading HERE.)
Provide your child with access to a wide variety of books and other reading materials. If you don’t have many children’s books, check your local thrift store for bargains and/or become regulars at your local library.
Find a part of the day that works for your child to use as a quiet reading time. Limit distractions during this time to help your child focus on reading. A “quiet rest time” in place of an afternoon nap has worked well for my children, as does half an hour of quiet reading at bedtime. Find what works for your family.
Help your child grow and develop as a reader as you read to your child, read with your child, and make sure your child reads by themselves each day.
This post is part of the Ready for Kindergarten series on Chasing Supermom. Click HERE to find all of the other great kindergarten related posts!