Reading with children is a proven way to promote early literacy. As most parents know, however, it’s not always easy to carve out time each day for reading. Luckily, by putting a few simple strategies into action a parent can make a significant contribution to their child’s reading in as little as 20 minutes per day. Here are a few ideas you can apply when reading with your child.
1. When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says is the word he or she sees.
2. When you come to a new word, take this opportunity to talk about it in interesting ways that your child will enjoy and learn from. For example, “This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?”.
3. Read a child’s favorite book over and over again. This will provide positive reinforcement and your child will gain confidence as they are able to successfully recognize words.
4. Choose stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat. Invite the child to join in on these parts.
5. Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.
6. Read from a variety of children’s books, including fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books.
7. Set aside special reading time (and a special reading place). Setting a designated reading time helps in several ways. First, it allows a parent to plan their day more effectively and make time for reading. It also helps the child, especially reluctant readers, to think of reading as a normal scheduled daily activity.
8. Read with emotion. Reading with emotion draws a child into the story in a way that is much more memorable and enjoyable. It also helps them to better understand how words can describe something sad, happy, or exciting.
9. Let your child turn the pages. Besides, being enjoyable, this activity helps more active children stay focused on the book.
10. Take your child to the library to check out books. Most popular Children’s books are available at the local library. This is an affordable way to give your child access to a wide range of books. Taking your child to the library also turns reading into a special occasion.