Open a Book, Open a Mind
Research shows that even the youngest children benefit from having stories read to them.
Children who learn to love books from an early age are more likely to become successful readers.
Reading to a child helps:
Develop A Sense of Wonder ~ Develop Imagination ~ Develop Listening Skills ~ Develop Vocabulary and Reasoning ~ Improve Speech and Verbal Skills ~ Build Social Skills ~ Encourage Children to Role Play and Fantasize
Gracie Kloutze, Literacy Coordinator for McNeilly @ Meridian shares some great ideas:
A home filled with reading material is a good way to help kids become enthusiastic readers. What kind of books should you have? Ask your kids about their interests. If they are too young to have a preference, your local library can offer suggestions about age-appropriate books.
Here are some other tips:
Keep a varied selection. Collect board books, or books with mirrors or different textures for babies. Older kids will enjoy variety; fiction, non-fiction, and poetry plus dictionaries and other reference books. Kids can understand stories they might not be able to read on their own. If a more challenging book interests your child make it something to read together. Younger kids can look at illustrations in books and ask questions and follow along. Don't limit reading material to books. Kids might also enjoy magazines for children, audio books, postcards from relatives, photo albums or scrapbooks, newspapers, comic books, and the internet.
Keep reading material handy. Keep sturdy books with other toys for easy exploration. Books near the changing table and high chair can be a helpful distraction for younger kids at appropriate moments. Plastic books can even be kept in the bathtub. Keep books next to comfy chairs and sofas where you cuddle up so you can read after feeding and naps.
Create a special reading place. As kids grow, keep age appropriate books and magazines on shelves they can reach in their favorite hangouts around the house. Make these shelves appealing and keep them organized. Place some of the books with the covers facing out so they are easy to spot. Place a basket full of books and magazines next to their favorite places to sit. Create a cozy reading corner and encourage kids to use it by setting up a "reading time" every day.
Reading presents wonderful opportunities to connect and spend time with your child.
It is important to:
Talk with your child. Children love to hear stories about their parents and family. Share your family history and experiences.
Have conversations with your child. Taking turns in conversation is a good way to teach "sharing."
Listen to your child. Children learn to "listen" by talking with others. Listening is very important for school success.
Register with Imagination Library.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library provides books for children up to age 5. Register your child to receive a high quality, age-appropriate book each month. This program enables your child to have books of their own and learn to enjoy the magic of reading, regardless of your family income.