Thursday, July 30, 2015

Signs of Love

A designer I have worked with told about her son’s favorite books that bore strips of tape to keep ripped pages in one piece. Some pages were taped to the binding as well. While she lamented the fact that perhaps the binding of the book wasn't strong enough, her real reaction was beautiful. She was thrilled that her son had read and reread and loved these books.  What she expressed was that he had turned the pages so many times—out of love—and that was the important thing. So when pages get torn or smudged, and bindings get broken, use your tape. And be grateful that your child has found such pleasure from turning the pages of his beloved books.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cover Check!

Hold on. Even before you open a book to read aloud, do a "cover check." 

Talk with your preschooler about her predictions.  Read aloud the title. Ask your child, "What do you think this book is going to be about?" Then probe little more. Ask, "How can you tell? Tell me what you see on the cover." Questions like these are the perfect lead-in to reading together to see how accurate her predictions were. And they are helping to build her ability to make predictions based on evidence, an important critical thinking skill.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ready for a Road Trip?

Planning a family vacation? Traveling—by plane, train, bus, or car—can mean long delays. And while you can’t do anything about traffic and long wait times, a little forethought can improve the situation.

Don’t forget to pack a bag of books for your preschooler. It might be good to pack some of your child’s favorites, and toss in some new books for a surprise. If possible, ahead of time, seek out books about the place you are going or the mode of transportation you are taking. 

If you have a bag of books by your side, your child will be more patient and engaged. That will make any delay time will go faster. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Imagine That!

If a book sparks your child's interest—say something a character does in the course of the story—see if you can replicate the experience. When your child is intrigued by something she reads in a book, encouraging that interest will strengthen the connection between books and her life.

Plant magic beans, or dig a rabbit hole.
Set up a tent in the bedroom, or visit a firehouse. 

If the story she likes is realistic, together you can plan an event to replicate the events. If it is a fantasy, let your child’s imagination run the event. She can travel to the moon . . . right in your living room.

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.