Read Every Day

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The advice most parents have heard in recent years to ensure reading success for children is read at least twenty minutes every day. We want to do this, because, who doesn’t want their child to succeed. But there is work and playdates and school and activities and housework and the list goes on. Somehow it gets to bedtime and you realize you haven’t picked up a book today. You promise to do better tomorrow and tomorrow comes and the same thing happens.

I believe strongly in setting smaller goals in order to accomplish big things. Sure, twenty minutes is the ideal. It is the sweet spot of introducing new vocabulary and familiarizing our kids with story narratives, how books work and much more.

But twenty minutes is intimidating in a world that never seems to stop. What I always suggest to parents is find a consistent time, no matter how long, and read.

No matter how long, find time each day to read

If you spend a lot of time in the car, pick up an audiobook from the library and the picture book to go along with it. As you taxi your family from place to place, turn on a book and make the most of the time in the car.

Reading doesn’t have to happen at bedtime. If mornings have more time, make your day start with reading. Or if bathtime is the only time you have your child’s full attention, read a book while he splashes in the tub.

Reading happens more often than you realize. Any time you are driving, in a store or at an activity there are words around you. Point this out to your child wherever you are. Create a story with the signs you see. The important part isn’t how great of a story you tell, but the word connection your child makes in the world around him.

Choose a book the whole family can listen to. For me, the kids are at all different stages of reading. Trying to fit in twenty minutes of reading with each of them is impossible. Pick a classic story or a brand new tale and sit down as a family and read. It can be at the dinner table or the minutes you have before you head out for the day. A family who reads together, grows together.

A consistent reading habit is what matters

Don’t worry about how much time you spend. I believe you will find more time as your family reading habit grows. Just like when you start eating better or exercising more, the less pressure you put on yourself to be perfect, the easier it is to achieve your goals.

Make 2017 the Year of Reading by starting with the habit of reading everyday.

What tips or tricks do you have to include reading time each day? Share in the comments section.

Happy Reading!

Print Awareness: What does that mean?

PrintAwarenessgraphic

Print Awareness is the skill that demonstrates a child has a rich print environment in her life. Being read to is more than hearing the sounds and understanding the pictures. Before any of that happens we show children how to use books.

This all begins the first time we read to our baby. The child picks up how we hold the book, how we turn the pages, how we follow the story. In the first year we do nothing more than model.

In the toddler years we start naming the parts of the book. When the child settles in our lap to read we can point out the author and use our finger to point to where the name is on the title page. We name the front and back of the book and show the child through following the text on the page while we read.

In the preschool years the child will be able to name the parts of the book and although he or she can’t read, they will be able to point out where to find the author’s name. Where the first page starts and where the book ends.

So how do you make this fun and not a chore for you or your child?

  1. Don’t attempt to point out every single piece of the story in every single book. Pick one part to highlight and focus on that during the reading.
  2. Hand your child the book upside down, sideways or backwards and see what she does. Does she reorient the book the correct way? You can even start reading from the back to the front of the book. A preschooler will giggle and tell you to start at the beginning and a toddler might even turn the book the right way.
  3. Have your child use his finger to follow the text. Even if they can’t read the words after years of practice they will understand the flow of text.
  4. Look at the pictures and find the words on the page that describe the action. It helps connect the words with the action.
  5. Have your child read to you! At this point they will either recite the story as they have heard it told after many repetitions or they will use the pictures as a guide. No matter how they do it, you will see them demonstrate the many skills of print awareness as they tell you the title, turn the pages and follow the text with his finger.

Print Awareness is the building block to future reading success. Kids who feel comfortable and confident with books are more likely to pick them up. It doesn’t stop there though. Print Awareness is a skill a child can develop no matter where they are.

  • On a walk or in the car point out familiar signs and have them “read” to you. STOP signs and brand name stores are signs they will immediately recognize. You can help by pointing out the text.
  •  At the grocery store have them help shop. Give them a list either with pictures and words underneath or tell them a food and have them find it. Then point out the sign where the food is kept.
  • Read through a menu with them. Often times kids menus will have the picture of the food with the text. Have them point to the food they like and use your finger to read the word that goes along with it.
  • Write your child’s name in magnetic letters, sidewalk chalk, on paper or wherever you can.
  • Cook together. Follow a recipe on paper or in a book and make sure to use your finger to follow along as you read off the ingredient list.

Reading Rockets has a great informational video that describes many of the activities listed above and why Print Awareness matters in a child’s life.

 

 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share some books that are great with helping children develop the skill! (All book suggestions are my own, I do not get paid to review them, however the link does take you to Amazon where I receive a small commission when you make purchases.)

Buy on Amazon

 


Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon