This week we have written about three habits you can start now with yourself and your family in order to build reading habits for the lifetime of your children.
Read Every Day
The most important is to read every day. Twenty minutes is the recommendation but don’t let the number keep you from building the habit. Any amount of time spent in reading is helpful in future literacy success.
Know what good quality books to read
Knowing what books to read also helps build successful reading habits. Balance what your child loves to learn about with good quality picture books that highlight the six pre-literacy skills. The content will motivate her to hear the story and while she listens important literacy building blocks happen.
Be a reader to raise a reader
Lastly, be a reader. Our kids watch everything we do and love mimicking our actions. Make one of those parroting activities be reading. Read while you wait for appointments, read while your child plays independently or make a space for independent reading every night for your family. Make sure your child catches you reading everyday.
Start with these three habits and see how your child’s reading explodes over the course of the year.
Bug on a bike. By Chris Monroe.
(I am an amazon affiliate but I am not paid to review any book on this blog. If you click on the picture it will take you to Amazon where if you make a purchase I receive a percentage which allows me to build a literacy non-profit.)
Bug is on a trip and invites his friends to come along- the only problem- no one except bug knows where they are going!
I love the simple rhyming text and pictures of this book. It is easy to follow the text and the added dialog bubbles. Everything rhymes! (PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS, PRINT MOTIVATION) As each animal joins bug your child will build sequencing skills that are a great help in telling their own stories and understanding what they read on the page. (NARRATIVE SKILLS) There are a lot of unique words for your children to learn. (VOCABULARY) Monroe does a great job in providing a fun story that will help children build a lot of literacy skills that will assist them as they become readers.
- PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
- PRINT MOTIVATION
- NARRATIVE SKILLS
QUESTIONS TO ASK:
- Look at the first page and ask your child what they think the story is about. Look at the last page and ask your child how they think it ends.
- Count the animals on the pages as bug invites more friends. Keep a tally on a piece of paper. This helps build math literacy.
- Question to ask during the story: Why do you think buy is keeping where he is going a secret? What kinds of place do you think it is? Do we know from the last page of the book where he ends up?
- Why do you think his friends follow if they don’t know where he is heading?
- How do you think his friends feel when they arrive at a birthday party? Relieved? Happy?
TAKE IT FURTHER:
Go on a word scavenger hunt! Put on your walking shoes, get out the bikes or hop in a car. Write down a list of letters (or words depending on age of child) and hunt for the letters. Make up a sheet so they can see their progress.
Draw pictures of the animals and cut them out. Put them in order of who follows bug! You can number them on the back and have them put them in order by number or by memory of the story.
OTHER BOOKS BY CHRIS MONROE
Read to your child every day is the mantra parents hear from the time they take their baby home from the hospital. Life is busy with kids and reading can get pushed down on the to do list with all the other things parents need to do.
Why is it so important to read to children starting at birth?
- Reading aloud changes the brain. The more kids are read to the brain center associated with learning to read is stimulated.
- Reading aloud builds language. Children learn to speak by example. Books are a great way to introduce unique language and sounds into every day speech patterns.
- Reading aloud makes books fun. But it also connects the parent and child deeper and can aid children in times of stress.
- Reading aloud creates strong students. Infant and toddler brains explode with growth in the first 2000 days of life. The more exposure to language, sound, materials, and learning they have the more prepared they are when it comes time to enter school. Children practices all sorts of skills when they are read to.
Importance of reading aloud. Reach out and Read article retrieved March 1, 2016 from http://www.reachoutandread.org/why-we-work/importance-of-reading-aloud/
Reading with your children starting at birth is more than just hearing the story. It changes the brain, helps children bond with parents and sets them up for future school success. Just 15 minutes a day is a great start to ensure your children have the tools they need when they enter the school world. March is read aloud month. Pledge to make reading a priority in your family and help spread the word by sharing a picture of you and your child reading with the hashtag #readaloud.
For more information on the importance of reading and brain development check out these websites.
First 2000 Days
Reading With Your Child
With simple text and beautiful illustrations, I Know a Bear, tells the story of a little girl going to the zoo and imagining what life might have been like for the animals if they were free to live as intended. At the end of the story she thinks about her own pets and how they are meant to live.
This book has unique and strong vocabulary that is repeated throughout the book. It can take kids about thirty times of hearing a new word before it becomes a part of his vocabulary so books that introduce new words and repeat them help build a large repertoire for the future. The concepts might be too abstract for the young age. Children are very concrete so extrapolating what he sees in a zoo and putting it in the world might be hard for them to grasp.
What skills your child builds reading this book:
Questions to ask while reading:
- For children 3-5, point to the front cover of the book and ask your child what she thinks the book will be about. For younger children point to the picture on the cover and in the pages and help her name the objects.
- Flip through the pages without reading the text and have her make a guess about what will happen. For younger children, flip through the pages and make a guess about what the story will be about. This helps children draw context and meaning from the pictures while building narrative skills, being able to tell the story on his own.
- Talk about feelings. Look at the expressions on the girl’s face. Ask your child what he thinks the girl is feeling. For older children you can ask them how they might feel.
- Discuss what animals your child has seen at the zoo.
Take it further:
- Go to the zoo with a world map. Go to the different exhibits and place a dot for each of the animals and where they live in the natural world. Label it with the animal name. This will help build vocabulary through the naming of animals and the countries and continents of the world.
- Research bears! Go to your local library or bookstore and find a book on bears. Add the different types to the map.
- Find ways to use the unique words from the book in your conversation because repetition equals learning. Lush and vast are not words we use everyday but make an effort to find ways to include them in your conversations.
What activities have you used to enrich the reading experience with your child? Post suggestions in the comments to share ideas.