Books, Culture and Society

Ready Readers

Reading is one of the most important and powerful skills that children can learn. Learning to read and write can start at home, long before children go to school.

Ready Readers

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Learning to read and write can start at home, long before children go to school. One of the best ways to help your child learn to read is to read to them. Reading aloud to children has been called the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for success in reading.

The rule of thumb is to try to read at least 15 minutes every day. You are the role model for your child, use your voice effectively, varying your pitch and tone and pronounce each word correctly. You really can help them enjoy reading, and it will become a lifelong habit.

You do not need to wait till your child reaches an age where they can understand what you are reading. Start reading with your child as soon as possible. Babies can benefit and gain enjoyment from the tone and rhythm that you use. As children get older let them choose some of the reading material, use their interests to find books or ask a friendly librarian.

Here are 8 ideas you can use to read with your child.

1. Use day trips to the grocery store and library as springboards to get your child interested in reading. Encourage your child to read for fun!

2. Develop a routine of reading 15mins before bed, this creates a calming time and also is less likely to be pushed aside to do other tasks.

3. Try to choose children’s books that are above your child’s reading level but at the child’s interest level.

4. When reading a chapter of a children’s book each night, always review what happened in the previous night’s chapter before starting a new chapter.

5. For young children, children’s books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition are excellent. Be sure to read Mother Goose rhymes often.

6. Try reading together with your child using the computer, download eBooks, talking software and listen to them together.

7. Books on audio tapes are great ways for your child to hear examples of good reading. Books on tape are available from most bookshops and also through the public library system.

8. Record yourself reading your child’s favourite story. Ask your child’s teacher to suggest some book titles used in the classroom.

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