Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mixed Media

Look for books that have also been made into movies or retold on audio CDs. Read the book together and then watch the movie or listen to the audio version. Talk with your preschooler about how the versions are similar and how they are different. Does the movie add new characters to the story? Does the story turn out to have the same ending or is something changed? Do the characters in the movie look the way he had pictured in his mind? If not, how are they different? How does music make a difference in listening to the story? Help your preschooler become a critic as he explores the characteristics of different media.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pack Your Bag

If you are going to an appointment with your preschooler in tow and you anticipate some waiting time, pack wisely. Along with a drink and snack, be sure to pack a favorite book or two--or more. She may “read” on her own if you are reading or she may want you to read to her. Either way, reading can be a welcome distraction from a long and otherwise boring wait.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Close Encounters

Use reading time as time to be physically close to your preschooler. If he wants to sit on your lap or have you sprawl next to him on his bed, that is great. The sweet feeling of reading together and feeling cozy and content is exactly the association you want him to have to reading and books. And admit it: you love that closeness, too!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Be Flexible

Say you are reading a book with your child and she interrupts to ask a question about the story . . . and then another . . . and another. Take a deep breath. Remember this is not about getting through the book. This is not a race. Your child is engaged and curious. Take the time to discuss her questions and answer them the best you can. If you only read a couple of pages, that is fine. The idea is to enjoy reading the book together, and her engagement is a sign that she is doing just that.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words?

When you introduce a book that tells a story, try going through the book page by page with your preschooler, just looking at the pictures. Early childhood educators call this a picture walk, and it is something your preschooler will probably do in school. Let her tell you what she thinks is happening on each page. Then go back and read the book. See how her ideas match up with the story that is actually told in words.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Label It

Invest in some index cards and neatly print out the names for things around your home--clock, table, door, stove, and so on. Tape the cards to the objects, and read them aloud to your preschooler. Soon he will be reading them to you and to anyone who will listen. Start with just a few and gradually add more. You preschooler will be proud of all the words he can read.

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.