Thursday, April 26, 2012

Guest Post - Learn to Walk and Read at the Same Age

Learn to Walk and Read at the Same Age
Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools
For decades, research has shown that reading to your child and providing your child with the opportunity to interact with books are two of the main predictors for reading and school success. Many parents think that babies are too young to be read to, but you can instill a love of reading in children as young as a few months old, and even before birth.

When you read to a young child, point to pictures and talk about them with your child. Ask your child questions about the characters in the pictures and ask your child what he thinks is happening or will happen. You do not need to read the exact words in the story. Be creative and personalize the story for your child to make it fun and keep the child's interest.

One of the most important gifts you can give your child is time spent reading. This will not only help the habit become second nature, but also prepare them for an educational child care. Setting aside time daily to read to your child will help your child love to read and be an active reader. Although your child will be read to in preschool, this is not enough. Spend time reading to your child daily at home in addition to his reading in school.

The author of Dr. Spock's Baby Basics, Dr. Robert Needlman, believes that the most important way to raise a reader is to read to the child frequently beginning in infancy. Make the time to sit down with your child and share a story. Read it together and engage your child by asking questions. Connect with your child and make the experience fun, and your child will soon associate books and learning with fun.

Reading any book is better than not reading, but try to choose books that will engage your child. Young children enjoy vivid pictures and rhythmic words. Since toddlers like repetition, you will be reading the same book over and over again, so choose books you enjoy. Selecting books that you enjoy will encourage you to be more animated when reading, which makes it more fun for the both of you. When your child sees you enjoying a book, whether it's a novel or a children's book, he will also begin to love books and reading.

Here are some tips to help you raise a reader:

• Provide your child with books on his level on different subjects
• Read to your child daily beginning in infancy
• Keep books available in the car and in your bag for long waiting periods
• Ask your child's preschool teacher what they are reading in school and get the same books to read at home
• Preschoolers will enjoy "reading" their favorite books to you. They will retell it in their own words and use the pictures as cues. Even if they tell you a vastly different story than what is written, this is important because it means they are associating the written word with telling a story.

Children are born wanting to learn how to use language in both spoken and written forms. As parents, we talk to our children to teach them how to communicate with other people. Reading to your child is another way to foster their learning and teaches them how to use written words to tell a story. Read to your child every day beginning in infancy to raise a child who loves to read and loves to learn.

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