You’ll Miss the Best Things If You Keep Your Eyes Shut

Karla LysakSelah0 Comments

You’ll Miss the Best Things If You Keep Your Eyes Shut
-Dr. Seuss

February is “I Love to Read” month. Do you ever feel like you struggle to read with your child? Is reading out loud a task that you don’t enjoy? Or, perhaps you enjoy reading with your child and you are looking to make it a more meaningful, purposeful activity.

Here are a few tips to help you read with your child.

What should reading with my child look like?
1. Create a regular quiet time for reading.
2. Use sound effects while reading out loud.
E.g. Animal sounds, different voices/interesting voices for each character
3. Use your hands and face to help tell the story.
4. Make reading a social event; invite others to sit down and read with you or make up stories together.
5. Read slowly; this allows your child to take in the words and pictures. It will help your child develop a deeper meaning within the text.
6. Stop to identify specific words and pictures. Talk about them.
7. Don’t rush to the next page; allow your child time to respond and ask questions.
8. Have your child re-tell the story – especially if you are frequently re-reading the same book.
9. Take a break if your child is getting fidgety.
10. Have fun!

If your child is just beginning to read here are a few things you can encourage:
1. Point to the words as you or they are reading.
2. Look at the pictures to help figure out what a word may be.
3. Talk about words that rhyme.
4. Point out words that start like their name.
5. Recognize words that are repeated often
e.g. like, is, the, a,
6. Identify and talk about punctuation and its purpose
. – stop
? – asking a question
! – excited
, – pause

Are you ever stumped and not sure what questions you could be asking before, during, or after reading a book with your child?

Here are a few questions you can ask:

Questions to ask before reading: (look at the pictures in the book)
What is the title of the book?
What does the cover tell you about the book?
What do you think the book is about?
What are you curious to find out about this book?
What do you already know about this book?
Why are you reading this book?
Is this story make believe or real?
What questions do you have?

Questions to ask during reading:
What do you think will happen next?
What is the problem in the book?
Why do you think the character did that?
When you were reading this part, what were you picturing in your head?
How…?
What questions do you have?

 Questions to ask after reading:
Describe the setting of the story.
Describe how a character changed throughout the book.
Which of the characters did you like best?  Why?
What were some of the problems or situations the characters encountered?
What part of the story did you like or dislike? Why?
What new words did you learn?
How did this story make you feel?
What questions do you have?

You can change the language of the questions to simplify them so they are appropriate for your child.

Reading with your child is extremely beneficial! Learning to read is fundamental to the whole development of your child. Developing the skills to read will open up the world to your child. They will learn to investigate and acquire knowledge both with you and on their own. The ability to discover through reading will increase their confidence and you will see their relationships with others grow. In addition, you will see your child develop emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive skills.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

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