17 Reasons Why You Should Read The Child
Research varies, but it seems that many parents spend little time with their children. One study on father's says they spend eight minutes daily and 14 minutes on weekends in one-on-one experiences with their children. Mothers do little better- 13 minutes a day and 32 minutes on the weekends.
What can we do to keep our children from joining the group? How we can help them enjoy the learning-reading experience?
The First step to success:
The earlier you start, the better.
An infant is reading at that magical moment when it first responds to a parent's smile. Important meaning is found in that smile and that's what reading is all about -discovering meaning.
Time means love.
Set aside a regular block of time to read aloud. Avoid times when your child has obligations such as homework or wants to watch a favorite TV program. Make a commitment and stay with it. If necessary, turn down other appointments. Think about the positive message that will send to your child.
Listening shows commitment.
There will be times when your child wants to share or talk about a book he or she has read. You can't always drop everything, but when you can do. The younger the child, the sooner that time should be.
Selecting books teaches values.
Listen to your children and discover their interests. Adventure stories? Space? Flight? Pioneers? Horses? You may like "how-to" books, but they may want to read about whales or dolphins.
Discover your child's ability to understand.
Younger children will learn more from books with pictures. Knowing that the man traveled to the moon may be enough to satisfy a beginner. How he got there will interest older readers.
Assess your child's reading level.
If you hear five or more mistakes, the book is probably too difficult. But if the subjects holds the childs interest, don't deny the opportunity to learn.
A good environment sets the stage.
Have a plenty of eye-appealing books and magazine in your home- some for you, some for your child. Choose place where you will read together, a favorite chair, propped up on your child's bed, the porch swing, wherever. When you read aloud, eliminate distractions.
Practice your own skills.
When you read aloud, use voice inflection and tone that will make the story come to life. Share humor, the pathos, the anxiety. Put some drama into your voice.
Make room for laughter.
Share jokes, nonsense rhymes, funny stories, puns, words with silly sounds. Read aloud stories or examples of humor that appeal to children.
Keep them dangling.
Start a book, arouse the childs interest, then stop while interest is high. This lets a child ask for more. Older children may ask for the book so they can finish reading it for themselves.
Accept your child's pace.
Don't overdo it. Five or 10 minutes is enough at first. The younger the child, the shorter the attention span. You want the child to ask for more not beg you to stop.
Teach your child how to find information.
When kids ask tough questions about a topic in the book, be truthful. "I don't know, but I can help you find out" lets you lead them to the other books to find answer.
Expand the imagination.
Begin reading a story, but stop before the end. Ask the child to imagine what might happen. After you have speculated together, read the rest of the story aloud- or better yet, let the child read the rest of the story, if able to do so, and share the ending with you.
Share the fun with others.
Kids love to hear themselves talk. Taperecord them reading a story, and send the tape to a grandparents or friend.
Seek a response and enlarge a child's horizon.
Get response from your child. Educators call it a comprehension check. Have the child act out part of the story. On other days draw a picture, summarize ideas, or review information.
Nurture a budding reporter.
Encourage your child to talk and write. Younger children can dictate their story to you-sentence or two is sufficient. Invite them to illustrate it with a picture, then read it to someone- a grandparent, a neighbor, an elderly friend, a cousin.
Give the gift of approval.
When your child shares a reading experience, listen carefully and respond positively. Your child wants to please you. Your approval is a major source of encouragement.
Sharing books can become a bonding experience with your child. Just 15 minutes a day will make it happy. Try it.