Saturday, October 27, 2018

Read From the Beginning

Read to your infant. It is never too early to start reading aloud. Will your baby understand the story you read? Likely not. But what you are doing is far more important. You are introducing your child to a lifetime filled with the joy and love of reading.

Reading aloud, while snuggling with your baby, provides a time to be engaged in a special experience, one of closeness and togetherness. When you read aloud, you are slowing down from the busyness of life, focusing your energy, creating a loving bond, and opening the door for your child to the pleasures and treasures that books provide.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Read for Support

Targeted reading can help your preschooler deal with a new situation. For example, books about starting preschool can help you get your child prepared for that highly anticipated experience. Reading a book about a new baby can be a starting point for talking about how life will change when a sibling arrives.

Do an Internet search or ask a children’s librarian to help you find books that address a situation that might be impacting your child. Whether the book is fiction or nonfiction, use it to ask your child questions about how she is feeling about the upcoming situation. Likewise it may stimulate your child to ask questions of her own.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Letters, We Get Letters . . .

In this age of digital communication, isn't it kind of wonderful to receive a letter now and again–real mail? A piece that was intentionally written, stamped, and mailed to you is special. Don't let that  thought get away.

Even young children enjoy receiving a communication addressed specifically to them. So, think about writing to the young children you know, or asking people to write to your child. There is a thrill to getting a hand-addressed note; it says "I care."

Thursday, March 8, 2018

All Hands on Book!

Some children are tactile learners—they learn by touching and feeling. This is your child if you are constantly wiping off finger prints from every surface in your home. Go with it. Let your child absorb the feel of a book, the pleasure of turning a page. 

Try not to be upset if your child’s eager fingers take their toll on a book. Tape the page. And then move on. (Invest in lots of invisible tape so you have it on hand.) A book is not a museum piece, but a favorite object and is meant to be used. If your child is a hands-on learner, let it be. However, if your child is intentionally acting in a destructive way toward a book, you will want to point out that books deserve respect.  

If a book is a little worse for wear at the hands of an enthusiastic reader, consider it a good thing. Nearly all books are replaceable, but your child’s enthusiasm is priceless.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Coming Soon: World Read Aloud Day!

World Read About Day is an exciting collaboration between LitWorld, the nonprofit organization devoted to promoting literacy worldwide, and the publisher, Scholastic. Read about this exciting upcoming event. Find out how you can participate on February 1.

Here is the link:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Take a (Picture) Walk

The idea behind a picture walk is that you go through a book’s illustrations before reading it in order to get an idea of what is included in the book. 

Try it with your child. During this "walk," concentrate only on the pictures, without actually reading the words. You might start by describing what you see or let your child begin. 

Lose the words . . . for now. 

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the pictures of a book. Take your time. The discussing may be engaging enough that you don’t get around to actually reading the book—in that sitting. Have your child tell you what she sees. Ask her what is happening, and listen to what she see says. Once you actually read the book, you can compare what you both predicted the book to be about to what it actually turned out to be.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

At Home . . . Away

Keep a set of books at a grandparent’s house or other places where your child visits. 

“Same place, same books” can make reading an important part of the visit. It may be a set of books that are always read there—and nowhere else.  Those “away” books provide a sense of familiarity to your child,  and the books become part of that unique experience. It is a way for your child to experience new routines in a place besides home . .  . 

What I think . . .

There are all kinds of readers. Some—like my daughter and me—are never without a book to read for pleasure. Others—like my son—are careful, analytical, and curious readers who read primarily to seek information from the page.

No matter what kind of reader your child becomes, you can help him or her get started. After all, you are your child’s first teacher. And, best of all, you can have some fun in the process.

Please feel free to share your own ideas. Tell me about ways you've enjoyed reading with your child.

Madeline Boskey, Ph.D.