What Should You do When Reading to Children?
Many parents and carers feel that they are not qualified to assist children with reading, and that it is something which should be left up to those who have training in this area. They often feel that they would not know where to start assisting a non-reader or very low level reader. However, there is a great deal that those people can do, and which does not require a high level of training or qualification.
Here are some guidelines which are very simple for a parent or carer to follow, and which can make a great deal of difference when done on a regular basis.
- Make a regular time for reading every day.
- Let the child know that you enjoy the time together.
- Make listening to reading a special time.
- Understand that the child will sense when listening becomes boring for you.
Join the local library and borrow from there regularly.
Show an interest in the books the child borrows from there regularly.
- Discuss the cover.
- Discuss what the story is going to be about.
- Predict what some of the words in the story will be. Praise them if correct.
- Talk about the pictures and unusual and familiar words.
- Talk about the start, middle and end of the story.
- Mention the author and the illustrator.
- Read the story to your child first.
- Take turns reading part of the story. Leave the repetitive parts for them.
- Try leaving out the last word in the occasional sentence.
- Let the child join in with you.
- Praise the child’s efforts.
- Suggest they tell someone else about the story.
- Make reading fun. Use scary, funny, loud, quiet voices if appropriate.
- Use expression when reading to children.
- Provide the opportunity to read other types of reading material: magazines; comics; poetry books; newspapers; diaries; atlases; road maps; street directories; instructions for games; cooking recipes; computer games; newsletters; letters; cards; invitations; lists; reference materials.
Ask Questions Like:
- What can you tell about the story from the pictures?
- What do you think will happen in the story?
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