Growing up as a kid, one of my fondest memories was sitting down with my mom or dad and reading a good book. This was a time for us to connect and step into a different world. What made it even better was the funny voices my dad would make for different characters. That really made the story come to life.
Taking the time to read to your child is so incredibly important. This is a great bonding activity but also a great way to set your child up for educational success. Most parents know and understand this, but oftentimes, reading books gets pushed to the side due to a busy lifestyle.
The statistics are quite interesting when you look at them. According to the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, kids who are read to one short book per day go to kindergarten hearing 290,000 more words than their peers who did not have books read to them. Furthermore, if a child reads five books a day, their word exposure count goes up to a staggering 1.4 million words. So, as you can see those books really do add up!
Let’s take a look at some reading tips parents can remember when reading to their child at home.
- Reading at an early age – If you have a child in elementary school, have him or her read to you every single night. This is a great way to practice their fluency, expression, decoding skills, etc. Try to make it a part of a daily or nightly routine.
- Create a reading spot – Find a place where you can set up a comfortable place to read. This could be in a corner with a few soft pillows or maybe a tent with lights hanging up.
- Take turns – Consider a partner reading with your child. This will allow your child to hear how natural reading sounds. You also could read in an echo reading style. This is where the parent reads the page and then the child reads the same page and tries to sound like mom or dad.
- Re-read Favorite books – While many people may want their children to read a new book each night, this ultimately doesn’t help with reading fluency. Your child will gain confidence, read with better accuracy, and increase his/her speed.
- Check for comprehension – There are many active reading strategies that you can practice when reading a book to your child. Ask your child questions as you are reading the book. Have him/her identify story elements such as character, setting, problem, etc. You also can have your child make predictions, or describe what something might look like if there isn’t a picture to accompany it.
It is never too early to read to your child and it is never too late to start! If you are looking for additional support, reach out to your child’s Exceed in Learning teacher for additional ways to practice reading skills at home.