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A time to remember Many children begin to recognize words on a page between ages of 4—7. In today’s world this may begin by recognition of a logo, a favorite cereal box, or cover of their favorite bed time story book. Think back to a time when you were young. What do you remember recognizing? You can help remove part of mystery without worrying about a lot of theory. Just read stories and poems and let them work their wonders. There is no better way to prepare your child for that moment when reading starts to ‘click,’ even if it is years down road. When time comes that your child wants to read you story, from pictures, by all means let them, even if story is not being told as per written page. This is just beginning of their desire to read to you. You can help your child’s transition by: •Pointing to print as you read aloud. •Words on a page have meaning, and that is what we learn to read. •Follow words with your finger as you read.
The above is an example of hieroglyphics. Can you imagine how you would feel if you were trying to translate an entire book of these symbols? That’s how children feel. But with a little patience, understanding and game playing it is certain to build confidence. It is no secret that activities at home are important supplements to classroom. There are things that parents and caregivers can give a child at home that classrooms can not give. Memories of good time spent together to treasure, stories that made them laugh and cry, sharing these times with someone they love and way that it was taught to them to pass on to their own children. By reading aloud together, by being examples, and by doing other activities, parents are in a unique position to help children enjoy reading and see value of it.
Keeping fun in learning It is important to keep reading time with your child fun and keep tone and pace as lively as possible. Most children at some point will become distracted or just plain stubborn. It is in their nature to try and assert their own independence. If at this time you force issue of having to sit still and read they are likely to rebel, leaving you frustrated and them seeing that learning is a chore not a fun activity. It is best if you let your child set pace and do something different. They will come back to it when they are ready. Being a parent can sometimes be compared to a trainer. It takes patience, confidence, and playfulness in your approach to get desired results. Children love to learn but at times they need a little breathing room. This way their interest will always be renewed. It is important to try and keep to a schedule for reading with your child. This helps give your child a solid of organization and a time too look forward to each day. One of best times is at bed time. This not only encourages child to get ready for bed but helps to relax them, preparing them for a peaceful sleep. If you have more than one child, it is important to try and give each a reading time alone. However, it is also a big benefit to read together and allow older child to participate in reading to a younger child. This not only encourages older child to read but helps show younger child that it is possible to make sense of jungle of words on a page. Encourage your child to ask questions about things they don’t understand, as well as give them opportunity to voice what they think will happen next. Talking about Stories
Talking to your child about a story if often a good idea, however, don’t over-do it by feeling need to discuss every story. Sometime a child needs a day or two to think about that you have read, then come back and ask questions about it or mention something that they remember. By allowing your child to voice their opinion on upcoming events in story will also encourage them to think about what you are reading and promote reading comprehension. Another way to enhance message that reading is fun for everyone, is to invite others to join story time, for time to time. This will give your child other opinions to think about a variety of storytelling routines. Remember to make reading with your child enjoyable, and increase writing, talking, and listening to boost your child’s love of language.
© copywrite Long, Debbie 2005 Debbie Long is a writer/illustrator and founding member of 'The Muse Program', a literacy program for children. Debbie has spent many years writing curriculum for The Muse Program based on the Board of Educations curriculum units. She currently has the first two books in the Imagination Series published. 'Short Stories with Imagination’ and ‘Story Building with Imagination’.