Reading aloud is a very special time for parent and child to be close to each other, share stories and adventures while the same time nurturing the child’s growth as creative thinker. Invite your child to read with you 30 minutes everyday.
Believe it or not, there is an art to reading aloud… to making it a fun, cozy, memorable experience.
Choosing the book
Choose from a wide variety of books… fairy tales, poems, fact books, funny books, sad books. A child will be more engaged if they are allowed to pick out their own book. The local library is a great source of variety.
If you are midway through a story and your child is not enjoying it, abort. This is supposed to be a fun, warm, fuzzy time. On the other hand, if your child wants to read same book for the tenth time…don’t roll your eyes and tolerate it, be thankful that your child has found something to enjoy, and enjoy and enjoy.
If your child is a beginning reader, choose books that are too long or difficult for him to read on his own.
Provide a reading friendly home.
Have plenty of books, writing materials and colorful kids magazines in a designated reading area. Make sure the lighting is good and the chairs are comfortable…include comfy pillows and blankets to curl up with. Encourage older brothers and sisters to use the room and to read aloud to their younger siblings. Use that room yourself to read a variety of things from work related articles to books read for pleasure. Share with your child interesting things that you read in the papers, magazines or books. Modeling is the most important thing you can do to influence a child to do anything, including enjoying the written word.
Start at the Beginning
Start with the cover and read the title of the book and the author. Draw attention to the cover art and ask the listener what he/she thinks of it.
Ask some questions to get the imagination going. What most parents don’t realize is that the best listening experience is actually an interactive experience.
- Talk together about what this story might be about based on the front cover and title.
- Flip through the book and get a feeling for the illustrations.
- Have a creative discussion bout what you see as you go through the book… is it going to be funny, scary, sad?
Once upon a Time...
When reading aloud, read the book with enthusiasm, use your voice to fit the character and the action, much the same as if you are an actor playing all the parts in the play.
If the print is large enough, move your finger over the words as you read, this will help your child learn that reading goes from left to right at the same time starting to learn what the words look and sound like.
Stop to examine and discuss the pictures.
If some words are hard for children to understand, take the time to discuss the words or substitute a word they understand.
Stop often to share thoughts about where you both think that this story is going, the child thinks about the characters. Take guesses at what may be about to happen.
an interactive experience
When the story is ended take the time to talk about how it made the child feel.
What did the characters learn?
What was good about the story… was there anything disappointing about the story?
How could it have been different?
Depart from the expected
Books are not the only opportunity to read aloud... keep your eyes open for other reading opportunities:
Cookbooks - Read recipes out loud as you and your child enjoy preparing a recipe together.
Comic books – kids love the interesting illustrations in comic books and graphic novels.
Brochures – have the kids plan the family vacation as you read from the brochures with them.
Song lyrics – encourage kids to read the lyrics as they listen to songs.
Instructions – It will empower kids to read the instructions with you and then give it a try.
Labels Catalogues DVD packages
Television schedules Newspapers and Magazines.
Games – spelling or word games, word puzzles
Joke or Riddle books
The world is chalk full of written words
just waiting to be read aloud.
Don't disappoint them.