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Tell Me a Story: Reading Tips for Parents & Caregivers

No doubt about it. Reading to your child and exposing them to a variety of books/print rich environments helps build a strong foundation for life-long learning.

The US Department of Education has several simple strategies for creating strong readers. These strategies evolve from book reading and mostly focus on reading comprehension:

  • Invite a child to read with you every day.
  • When reading a book where the print is large, point word by word as you read. This will help the child learn that reading goes from left to right and understand that the word he or she says is the word he or she sees.
  • Read a child’s favorite book over and over again.
  • Read many stories with rhyming words and lines that repeat. Invite the child to join in on these parts. Point, word by word, as he or she reads along with you.
  • Discuss new words. For example, “This big house is called a palace. Who do you think lives in a palace?”
  • Stop and ask about the pictures and about what is happening in the story.
  • Read from a variety of children’s books, including fairy tales, song books, poems, and information books.

Reading with enthusiasm is also important. {Although some nights it’s tough when you have a rambunctious toddler you’re trying to settle down and can barely keep your own eyelids open!} If you show your child that you love reading and stories, they are more likely to love reading, too.

How do these strategies apply to eBooks? A recent study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center shows that children respond in the same way to basic eBooks that they do print books. So apply them to your tablet time, too. {The same study shows that enhanced eBooks can be distracting for young kids and stop them remembering narrative details. For reading skill building, sticking with basic eBooks may be the way to go.}

What other reading strategies do you use?


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