One would think that with the advent of public schools in 1821, illiteracy wouldn’t be an issue in this day and age, but today we are still trying to find the magic road to reading. So what is the magic? Simply read aloud to your child. Reading aloud is possibly the single most important activity you can undertake to help ensure a bright and promising future for your child. The road to reading should encompass reading aloud to your child every day, preferably more than once a day if possible, exposing your child to a variety of books, making your home a print rich environment that encourages curiosity and exploration and also, bringing your child to your local library and bookstores, which also might offer a story time. Sounds overwhelming? Truly it’s not. As the reassuring words on the cover of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy read: “Do Not Panic!” It basically comes down to the simple act of reading aloud. We want to help parents realize that reading aloud can be a natural part of your day and that with a few small changes and additions, the road to reading will be a natural process for your child and that many children will master the basic skills even before they begin school. After children begin school and can read on their own, continue the practice of reading aloud. This will further strengthen your bond as well as introduce more complex language and vocabulary that they themselves cannot yet read or decipher independently. Children can understand more challenging books through listening than they can read on their own.
So what are the basics of putting your child on the road to reading naturally? Don’t think of it as or make it a burden or a chore. It should be a natural part of your day and should be an enjoyable experience that encourages bonding with your little one, affection and positive associations with books. Share books you enjoyed as a child and together discover new ones, even if it isn’t something that you are interested in. Encourage your child to expand his horizons and to reach beyond the familiar.
Here are our tips for making books and reading a natural, organic part of your every day. Remember that each child is a unique individual and what works for one parent and one child, may not work for another. Relax and enjoy!
“When you’re performing, you’re creating a moment.”
We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.