THE IMPORTANCE OF READING TO YOUR CHILD
One of the best and least expensive gifts that a parent can bestow upon their child is the gift of reading. Reading to your preschool child not only helps lead to success in kindergarten but throughout your child's entire life. In fact, according to the Association of Ohio School, "The single most important thing that influences primary grade reading achievement is having someone read to a child on a regular basis."
Read to your child at least fifteen minutes each day. It doesn't matter what you read. Chances are good that if you are interested in something, your child will be too. Read the sports page, a gardening magazine, comic strips or even poetry. It is not important so much that your child comprehends what is being read as much as it is for your child to see that you are enjoying the act of reading. If your child observes you not only reading it, but enjoying it, they will likely begin to imitate the act themselves. You may catch them "reading" to their toys or friends. They may even pick up a book or magazine and make up a great story that they "read" to you out loud. Encourage this type of activity in your child. Your child is learning to read in this way, even if they do not yet recognize the words.
Here are some tips to make reading enjoyable for your child:
* Create a quiet, comfortable space with pillows, a favorite blanket and soft lighting.
*Make reading a special time to cuddle and connect with your child.
*Occasionally substitute your child's name for the lead character's name.
*Use funny voices for each character.
*Take trips to the library to pick out books that you'll read together.
*Write a story together and read it often.
*Read advertisements, billboards, license plates, street signs, etc. These activities provide opportunities to share reading skills with your child.
*Act out stories as if they were a play.
*Read a favorite story into a tape recorder so that your child may listen to it often.
*Send letters to your child through the mail or let him/her "read" the junk mail.
Lower Elementary Coordinator