When I read with my child….
I had mentioned last week that it is important to read with your child. I thought I would share some ideas on how, what and why.
Why read? Our lives are filled with print media. Whether they be signs on the street, instructions or manuals for games or machines, recipes, newstories, blogs, or posts on social media, print surrounds us. We all need strategies to navigate the world of print. Reading also helps our brains grow and reading with your child will enhance the parent/child bond.
We read to gain information, for pleasure, to engage in common themes of humanity and, most importantly, for pleasure!
What can it look like?
This is a big question – so here are some ideas, in brief. While driving, walking, biking out in the community or at home, you can play the alphabet game. Look for letters (or words) in signs. Look for spelling mistakes, puns or unconventional spellings. Reading can look like sharing a book, newspaper, or web page with your child reading together. Reading together can also look like you reading your choice while your child reads their choice during “reading time” at home.
What should my child be reading? My opinion is that the answer is anything. Comic books, novels, instructions, anything that would help answer the question “For what purpose do we read?” and “What is my child interested in.
Ideally, reading should be fun, although it can be work (to be celebrated) when one is learning.
Here are some questions to ask when you are reading. Use the “I wonder if” or “I wonder why such a thing happened” to model curiosity and YOUR thinking process while reading. Talk about when you make mistakes reading and how you fixed them.
Ask your child “How do you think this character felt?” or “Why do you think they did this?”. Encourage your child to predict – “What do you think will happen?”. If your child is reading independently, ask them “What interested you?”, “What made you think?”, “Did you agree or disagree with the author/ character’s decision?”.
Hopefully, these are some handy hints and strategies you will find useful in supporting your child’s learning.
Happy reading and thinking!