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Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to teach Kids to LOVE books and get them READY TO READ!

How do you instill a love of reading?  Assigning a ritual of reading for half an hour daily in their school day, is not the only way to get your students hooked on reading.  As parents we need to do a little more...  Here are some literacy tips to get your students HOOKED on reading.

*  Read to your child in the womb.  YES I know it sounds strange, but babies have been shown to react to sounds in the womb, so music and reading are high on the list, especially if they make your endorphins bounce.  Can you imagine the feelings of peace resonating, as your baby listens to poetry:)

*  Create a story time nook, where you can enjoy quiet time with your youngster, and... "comfy old armchairs",  come to mind.

*  Read to your baby on your lap, with large STURDY, picture books, that are easy to put in their mouths.  Because of course that is where the book will probably end up.  Sing and dance, and show enjoyment, as you read to your little one, and before long they will delight in holding a book and sharing in the pictures with you.  This is now part of their daily routine and bonding with mum.  Hence those LOVE endorphins:)

* As your toddler/preschooler grows take them to the library weekly, and allow free choice of book selection, as many as they like.  Libraries will now allow you to take out 30- 50 books at a time.  Linger longer in your library, and make friends with your local librarian.  Soon they will discover what kind of books you like best!

*  Share your favourite stories from your own childhood,  traditions and family stories will be passed down to them along the way.  Nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce memory skills.  If your child is read  a nursery rhyme repetitively, he will be able to remember some of it by rote.  If by 4 your child is not able to memorize simple nursery rhymes, there may be a lack of auditory memory.  Reading to your youngster will expose differences in learning.

*  Be astute to your child's listening techniques.  Boys will often not be able to sit still.  THAT is okay- they are still listening, even while playing with toys.  Ask questions to see if they are listening.  Then take the picture book to them if they are hanging upside down.  Find ways to be inventive with reading:)

*  Read with EXPRESSION!!

*Record your kids first attempts at reading.  Show pride and excitement when your child expresses interest in word association.  Buy an assortment of alphabet sequential toys, and great rhyming books like Dr Seuss.  Buy books that will make your child LAUGH and CRY:) BUY BOOKS!!

*  Get your kids playing alphabet computer games that teach phonetic skills; like Starfall. 
Download applications for reading games and word activities on your IPAD.

*  Help preschoolers understand that compound words can be taken apart, and divided into different words with picture connotations.  For example draw a hotdog, and then underneath the hot dog show how the word can be broken in two.

*  Discover puppets!  Puppets will draw your youngster into a world of make believe and stories.  Within a short period of time they will be acting out with their own puppets, and telling wonderful stories!

*    Write out the stories they narrate to you, and bind them in sweet booklet form for keepsake treasures.

*  Discover signs, cereal boxes with names, grocery lists, toy names, street signs,  and make up store items, with signs for playing shop.

*  Listen to audio books in the car and at home.  Statistics show that the more vocabulary a child is introduced to in their first 7 years, the more they will absorb, and be able to recognize in print when they are reading down the road.

*  Read a wide variety of books to your youngsters throughout their formative years, and find books that will appeal to their interests.

*  Get your preschooler to tell the story, by asking open- ended questions, on every page.  What do you think is going to happen next?  Why is he sad?  Where are they running to?  In a while your child will want to tell the story all by himself.  That is when you know those pre- reading skills are in place!

*  LASTLY but most IMPORTANTLY role model reading in your home.  When your kids see you reading, they will want to read.  Read the greatest STORY of all- The BIBLE!

For further literacy websites go to our HCOS library, Books and Reading.  If you are at all concerned about whether your child is ready to read, go to Get Ready to Read for a pre screening tool. Or read this book, by Dr. Gary G. Brannigan and Dr. Howard Margolis which discusses reading and reading disabilities in detail.

Blessings to YOU as share your LOVE of reading!


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