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.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Getting Silly With It

Have some fun with words and sounds. Point to a picture of a mouse and say, “Look at that house!” or “That dog is wagging her sail.” As your child corrects you and starts giggling in the process, you can share some silliness. See how many other words--real or made-up--your preschooler can come with (nail, pail, zail . . .). Besides having fun, she will be hearing and playing with individual sounds, which will play an important role when she learns to read.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Letters on His Mind

I am not so focused on teaching reading skills per se. My main interest in early literacy is for parents to encourage their young children to love books and reading. However, while reading a story, if your preschooler shows curiosity about the letters on a page, encourage his interest. Say the sounds that a letter makes. Name some words that begin with the letter. Then point out more examples of the letter in print--in other books, magazines and so on. Show him how the same letter appears in different fonts and in uppercase well as lowercase. If your preschooler seems to lose interest in this discussion, drop it and get back to your story!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Virtual Storyteller

Some preschoolers get so deeply involved in routines that any disruption can be problematic. For example, say your child insists on falling asleep listening to the same books every night--read by you. This little routine can put a crimp in your lifestyle if you have any thoughts of going out before his bedtime! If you think your preschooler would be comforted by the familiar sound of your voice reading his favorite book, consider making a recording of you reading it (and perhaps your preschooler chiming in). Then his babysitter can play the recording and he can ease himself peacefully into his sweet dreams.

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.