Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Before You Hit the Road

Like many families, you many be planning to get away from home this summer. Maybe you will a visit a place that is new or a familiar place that you return to each year. Whether you are venturing to a faraway city or just packing up for a weekend to visit relatives you see each summer, do some research with your child about your destination. Your preschooler can become an expert before she leaves home. It helps to build her excitement and imagination. Check the library for some appropriate books. Read together about specific locations or types of environments. Look for books about lakes, beaches, big trees, urban centers, or mountains. Then on your trip, talk about what you see. (“Do those sailboats boats look the ones in our book? How are they alike? How are they different?”, How does that skyscraper seem like the one we saw in our book about the city?”) It will be interesting for your preschooler to compare and contrast the sights she imagined with the ones she experiences.

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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.