Summer is a great time to read with your child. Most libraries offer a summer reading program that encourage children to read while school is out.
Besides the importance of education, reading can also be an opportunity for you to bond, show your love for your child, and learn about him/her- how they think, what kinds of things they like, etc.
May I offer some tips for reading WITH your child this summer:
- Pick a comfortable and clean spot to read with your child. Pick a place where distractions are limited. If your child is young, have him/her sit on your lap. If your child is older, sit somewhere where you can put your arm around your child.
- Use different voices for different characters. This helps distinguish characters and attitudes.
- Let your child choose the book- unless it is inappropriate. It may be boring to you but they will love reading more if they are interested in the topic. I hated being forced to read certain books in school but I loved reading the books that I got to choose.
- Help your child choose a book that is fun and interactive for both of you. Mix it up. Read some pop-up books, hidden object books, touch and feel books, lift-the-flap books, and finger puppet books.
- Get your child his/her own library card and let him/her use it often! Take your child to the library!
- Don't rush through the book. Take time to read. Don't be a "book cheater!" Don't summarize, skip paragraphs, or pages. If you don't have a lot of time, it's okay to tell your child to pick out a shorter story.
- Ask questions. (i.e. What do you think is going to happen? What would you do? How do you think that made (character) feel? How would that make you feel? What do you think (character) could have done instead? What did you think about this book? Did you like it? What was your favorite part?
- Explain what new words mean and try to use them in every day life. Reread the book and ask your child what the new word means. This will help to expand your child's vocabulary.
- If you are thinking about buying your child a gift for his/her birthday or other occasion, think about giving your child a gift card to the bookstore. It will give them an opportunity to choose their own book.
- Don't underestimate used bookstores. We love the Berenstein Bears books but it adds up when you're forking out $4 for each book. It makes it easier to buy gently used books for one or two bucks instead.
- Make reading with your child a habit. Start now.
The Red Kitchen Blog has a cute, and FREE reading chart. Click HERE to view and print.