Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Action!

Some children are tactile learners—they learn and explore by touching and feeling. You may recognize that this term describes your child if you are constantly wiping tiny finger prints from every surface in your home. 

When it comes to reading, go with it. 

Let your child absorb the feel of a book. The action of pulling, pointing, turning, zipping, tracing, engages your child's interest. Try not to be upset if your child’s eager fingers take their toll on the book. Tape the pages and move on. (Invest in lots of extra invisible tape so you have it on hand!) 

A book is not a museum piece, but a favorite object that is meant to be used and actively enjoyed. Of course, you don't want to encourage your child to pull or tear pages. But if a book is a little worse for wear, consider it a good thing. Books are replaceable; your child’s enthusiasm for a book is priceless.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Reading . . .

This one takes a little advance planning. Before the summer break, ask your child’s preschool for a list of books that will be read in class in the next year. Over the summer, read some of them with your child.

That summertime experience makes the books familiar and gives your child a little head start. Many preschoolers are caught between taking steps into the unknown and holding onto what is comfortable. Making the adjustment to school—especially if it is a new school or unfamiliar teacher—can be a challenge. So if your child “knows” a book she will feel comfortable in the reading setting. She may even share with her teacher or classmates some of the routines you and she have enjoyed, or your discussion about the book, or even tell the story of how she got the book. (Was it it a surprise?) The book experience can create a new and positive connection to the school and help put her at ease. 

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.