Monday, June 27, 2011

Road Trip!

Are you planning to take family trip by car? Before you leave, stop at your public library and check out some audio books. The children's librarian may have suggestions for you. You might choose books that you know your young child enjoys and give her the opportunity to hear the story read by another person. Or try to find other books by her favorite authors. Or discover some completely new books. Audio books can make a long car trip into a pleasant journey for all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Capture the Energy

Have you noticed how your preschooler is curious and eager to learn, open to new experiences? Capture that good energy. Provide opportunities to read with your child and expose him to lots of books and fun around reading. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your young child has already decided that books are not fun. Maybe you grew up that way or perhaps even today you are not an avid reader.  Now is your chance to send your preschooler on his way to being a reader. Seek out books that you enjoy reading to your child. Your positive attitude and enthusiasm just may rub off on him.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Narrate As You Go

As you go about your regular errands with your child in tow, be sure to point out to her when you are using your reading and writing skills. It is almost like thinking aloud. Instead of silently reading a list of ingredients in a supermarket food product, read them aloud. Point out that you are writing your signature on a credit card receipt. You do these thing automatically but all of this is new to your young child, and exposes her to instances of everyday literacy. Don't be afraid to use your regular vocabulary in her presence, either. When you talk about errands, ingredients, comparison shopping, or exorbitant gas prices, you are exposing your child to these concepts, and stretching her vocabulary. Don't forget that your ho-hum, routine activities are novel for your child, and offer an ideal opportunity to increase her knowledge of the ways of the world.

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.