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 . .  . 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Laughing Out Loud

For some children, humor is the key to hooking them into reading. A silly book allows them to let go and laugh.  

Keep in mind that humor for preschooler may not even seem so funny to you. But appreciate it for what it offers your child. (If you get in a silly mood, you might even have a good time . . .) Some writers for this age group can really zero in on what gets to a preschooler, and their writing strikes the right chord.

Humor is also a good way to engage you child in a discussion about a topic or issue. If your child is dealing with a sibling or school issue, or even a falling-down or food-aversion period, laughing at a character going through something similar can put it in perspective and give your child some release.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Author, Author!

Have your preschooler pen the next great American memoir. A favorite book for preschoolers to write is a record of an outing or excursion. It is a way to make a lasting memento and and be able to relive an event that is meaningful. Think family vacation this summer . . . 

Get fancy or keep it simple. You can staple together some pieces of paper or index cards, or buy a blank book, or use a commercial service. Encourage your child to write and illustrate her own books. You provide the raw materials, but let your preschooler dictate the contents—literally and figuratively.

The book can be wordless—let her tell her tale with pictures. She is getting a taste of what goes into planning what goes on the page of a book, recalling a sequence, and communicating something that is important and memorable for her.

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.