Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thumbs Up? Thumbs Down?

Encourage your young child to express opinions about the books he reads. If he loves a particular book, probe a little to see what he liked. Was it the amazing pictures? The familiarity of the setting? A character just like him?  

And . . . just like you, he won't love every book he encounters. Let him know that it's fine to feel that way--that you are interested in why he didn't like a particular book. Were the pictures boring?  Was the book too scary? Was it too long?

You may need to help him find ways to express his opinions. Even if he does not have the vocabulary to describe what he is feeling, you can help him formulate his ideas. He will begin to develop that vocabulary over time.

Ask questions to get the ideas flowing. You are teaching your preschooler that his opinions matter. 

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.