Sunday, November 28, 2010

Read Early, Read Often

When is it too soon to read to your little one? Never! Of course, your new baby cannot really understand the content of books you read to her. But you are teaching her something else. You are introducing her to the unique experience of being read to. She can pick up the cadence of your voice. Like a lullaby, she might just find it calming. You are creating a reassuring feeling of connection as you hold her. And it is never too soon to offer her that gift.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Need Your Help!

Now I need your help–in the form of ideas. I am working on a book for parents with tips for reading to their preschoolers. So I am collecting ideas for the book. If you have any suggestions for ways you have enjoyed reading with your children, please share them wth me. Also, if you have any favorite books for young children, please let me know the names and authors. I will acknowledge you in my book!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Traveling for Thanksgiving?

If you have plans to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, be sure pack some of your preschooler's favorite books. If you encounter delays on trains or planes or find yourself stalled in traffic, whipping out a beloved book can keep your child entertained. You might even consider packing a new book as a surprise. The combination of familiarity and novelty might be just right to keep your preschooler engaged . . . and reduce stress for everyone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Word by Word

You may have heard that it is a good idea to run your finger along a line of text as you read to your child. Why should you do this? It is a way of helping your preschooler learn that those mysterious marks on the page actually have meaning. You are teaching your child that there is a relationship between the sounds you utter and the letters that make up words. Your child may imitate you and run his finger along as he "reads" to you. Don't worry about accuracy. He will get there eventually. Learning to read is a process. Letter by letter, word by word, in time he will become a reader.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's a Date

Instead of a play date, try making a reading date for your child and one of his friends. Better yet, if his mother, father, or caretaker can join you, it can be fun to share favorite books and take turns reading. It is also a way for your child to get to know another child better or for you to spend some time with another adult you'd like to get to know. Keep it light and friendly. And when the reading is over, your children may want to play together. The read date can work well for homeschoolers. Plan an afternoon story time to get together with other families who may look forward to a little gathering. What a great way to socialize and maybe even discover a new favorite book.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Power of Pictures

Pictures can tell a story. When your preschooler draws pictures, ask her what is happening. Let her narrate. You can write the description on the picture. Perhaps she will want to draw multiple pictures to illustrate an event she enjoyed or weave a made-up tale. In school, as she begins to learn to write, her very first stories will be told in drawings. You are showing her the power of her words through pictures.

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.