Monday, December 6, 2010

Children reading

Many parents have asked me questions  about the books children are bringing home to read.  I thought I would spend a minute to answer a few of the questions publicly in case other people were wondering the same things.  Since most of the children are still beginning readers, the information is particularly geared to them.

"My child is only interested in reading the book a couple of times.  Do we need to keep the book all week?

No.  The reason I have the books go home for a week is two fold. 
One is to alleviate guilt.  I know everyone has busy lives and I don't want people to feel bad if they don't have time to read one night or if their child is not in the mood to read.  By giving a week, I hope the experience can be relaxed and enjoyable.
Second, some children love to read the books many times so I want to let them have that opportunity. 
However all children are different, if there are children who want to get a new book every day or two, that is perfectly alright.

"My child loves to "read" the books but is not really reading, he has just memorized the story."

Don't worry.  The most important thing at this stage is that the children feels and acts like a reader.  As they "read" more they will start to recognize more words and patterns of words, which will increase their fluency.

"What else can we do at home?

-Read with and to your child every day. 
-When your child is reading to you ask them questions to help them focus on the words.  For example, "What letter does worm start with?"  "Which word says monster?"  
-Ask them questions to make sure they are comprehending what they are reading.  "Who were the characters in this story?"  "Why do you think the dad got stuck in the snow?"
 -Play word games, like rhyming words: at, pat, rat,cat...this will help children start seeing the patterns in words.
-Words are everywhere.  Read signs while you are driving to school,  labels in the grocery store, menus at restaurants but, make it fun.  Don't feel you constantly have to make everything a lesson or it will become a chore and your child's enthusiasm with wane. 

-This last suggestion comes from a parent.  Miina told me that other day that they have started playing a "game" of writing sentences from the book on a white board and then seeing if Ella can figure it out what they say without the aid of the pictures.  

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have other questions about reading or anything else.

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