I’ve laws loved reading, loved getting lost in a good book. The books were filled with pages covered with words, each and every one of them taking me on an adventure. Both my parents read and they passed their love for reading onto me. It is my hope and dream that our children will develop the same appreciation for the books.
I pray that they will learn new things, go on adventures and meet new friends… all from getting lost in books. Our four children are each at different learning levels, which makes it interesting, challenging but all the more important for us to introduce them to appropriate books.
Here are some tips for reading at any age:
- Board books with few words and colorful pictures
- Objective: introduce new words and cuddling together with a book
- Discourage chewing on or eating the book
- Tell a story with simple words from the pictures
- Read stories to them at night (examples: Relax-a-Bye Baby, Guess how much I love you…)
- Board books
- Introduce regular paper books
- Objective: increase vocabulary by talking about the pictures, identifying colors, shapes and objects
- Introduce paging through a book
- Read a quick story and solicit engagement by asking questions about the pictures
- Introduce sight-word-rich books, such as “Bob Books”
- Read one page aloud, have him repeat, read next page, have him repeat. It may seem that he is just memorizing what you said and copying. But make him follow along by pointing to each word and over time he will start to recognize the written words
- Find books of interest to your child: a favorite animal or cartoon character
4. Elementary School:
- Chapter books, such as the “The Magic Tree House” or “Junie B Jones” series
- Encourage independent reading every day for a set amount of time. We normally ask Jacob to read 20-30 minutes per day
- Read aloud from books that are a few levels above your child’s current reading level. Ask him to point to the words as you read, this will introduce him to the next level and challenge his reading skills
- Encourage activities that will extend a book. We recently created a book ad with Adobe Spark. It was a fun way to bring our son’s book to life. When you create an advertisement for your favorite book, you can then enter it into a contest, where a winner will be chosen each week to win a scholarship. Find out more here.
In addition to personalizing daily reading habits to each of the boys and their respective skill levels, we make sure to all sit down and read at the same time. Having a set reading time helps even the most reluctant readers to understand that all electronics are off and this is the time to read.
Ways you can encourage reading as a family:
1- Read together as a family, every day.
2- Go to the library often to pick out new books.
3- Host a book swap with friends.
4- Talk about a book after you read it.
So as I sit down at bed time to read to the boys, I remind myself that I am fostering their love for learning and reading – even if it is the 57th time I am reading about the dinosaur’s first trip to the dentist!
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