Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Create a Parallel Universe

Find books that relate to what is going on in your daily life. This can be on an immediate, here-and-now basis. For example, if you and your child are waiting at doctor’s office or going to the vet, bring along a book that is on the topic. As you are waiting, you can compare your real-time experience with what is going on in the book. This activity can make a long waiting time so much more pleasant!

You can also do this on a longer-term basis. Say a tall building is going up next door to you. Read together about how skyscrapers are built. Your preschooler may be especially interested in its progress if she can compare it to what she has read about.

Reading about experiences that are similar to those in real time provides a perfect opportunity for your preschooler to identify with what she reads. It can make an everyday experience more meaningful. The flip side is it also makes the book more interesting because it relates to her world.

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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.