Reading to children can be magical. Reading aloud builds the knowledge base children need to be successful readers, fires their imagination, and whets their appetite for more. By reading together, children expand their vocabularies, build their understanding of the world, and learn the sounds of letters and the language of books.
It is incumbent upon us as educators as well as parents to impress upon children the importance of reading in their lives. Reading to your children is essential to ensure success in school. When teachers read to their students, they convey their love and excitement for both reading and learning. As parents, you can create an environment that supports literary development by surrounding your children with oral language and print.
If you have already established regular reading times in your family, keep up the good work. If not, perhaps you will consider finding time for this important activity.
v Be an avid teacher at home. When your children see your reading then they will want to emulate you and curl up with an exciting book, newspaper, magazine or periodical.
v Have your children read every day. Research indicates that children who spend at least 30 minutes a day reading for enjoyment – whether they read books, newspapers, or magazines, develop the skills of fluent readers.
v Take your children to the Library or bookstore and pick out your favorite pleasure book. Read books that they will enjoy. Books also make a wonderful gift.
v Read aloud to your children. It is never too early or late to read to your children. It is a great way to spend quality time with your children.
v Set aside some time each day for reading aloud. Even 10 minutes a day can have a tremendous impact. Bedtime is a natural read aloud time. If you are too busy then, read aloud at breakfast or just after dinner.
v Create a scavenger hunt from the newspaper to encourage reading. Ask beginning readers to locate specific words, have older children locate and read an interesting article and discuss it with you.
v Make reading a privilege. Allow children to stay up 15 minutes later if they read in bed.
v Talk about what you are reading. Ask children why a character acted as he did, what they would have done in the characters place, and what they think will happen next.
Let your child know that reading is valued in your home. Together we can install a love of reading as we encourage our children to become independent, enthusiastic readers.
Director of Curriculum and Personnel