*****READ A STORY*****
***TELL A STORY***
**WRITE A STORY**
*BE A STORY*
We seem to enjoy making things complicated in our world. Often things are very simple. Reading with your child should not be something you are afraid of because you are overwhelmed with advice, information, or lists of "must-read" books. It should be fun.
Read to foster a love for language in your child and a wonder about our world. Read together to have fun and to enjoy each other's company.
Below are some thoughts and some ideas you might enjoy trying:
*** Read aloud with your child –
Twenty minutes a day is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but if you don't have twenty minutes, read anyway! Read a few poems together in five minutes. (My children loved Shel Silverstein.) What's important is to expose our children to print and to allow them to hear the beauty and rhythm of strong narrative.
We're not sounding out words here; we're sharing wonderful stories!
Make read-aloud time special. Flop on pillows. Make hot chocolate...or...
Read with expression and be versatile. Take turns reading. Have each family member bring one book to share.
*** Be a Reading Mentor
Does your child see you reading? How many books are in your home? If you can't afford a lot of new books, you can still have a shelf full of library books. My library allows me to check out 30 at a time!
*** Connect Children to the real people behind the books
It's important for children to know there are real people and real artists behind the wonderful stories you're sharing. Children should know that telling stories is something any of us can do.
Bring an author to visit your school on a special "Author's Day".
Take your child to the bookstore when an author visits.
Visit the website of a favorite author and learn about him/her.
*** Visit your local library
As soon as your child can write his own name, take him to get his own library card. Then have a celebration!
Find a librarian who knows children's literature. They can help tailor reading to a child's interests.
Allow your child to browse the children's area.
Purchase books as gifts together.
***Tell your own stories
Share stories of your childhood with your child or begin your own "book" full of childhood memories to share with your children.
Assist your child in writing a story. Write down the words as your child tells it. Then let your child read her own story.
Have fun with Magic Word Bags. Use a fun/fancy purse or bag as a Magic Word Bag. Fill it with pieces of paper with a word on each piece. When you child pulls out one, have him make up a sentence with the word in it. Depending on age, time, etc., he can make up a whole story around this word. With older children, you can use three separate bags and fill them with ideas for characters, settings, and problems. Your child can pull one idea from each bag and create a story around these. Watch out for some WILD, WILD stories!
***Connect books to real life situations
This helps answer questions children may have about the world around them.
Books to explore:
- How to Get your Child to Love Reading - Esme Raji Codell
- Read-Aloud Handbook – Jim Trelease
Websites to explore:
- Kids like to explore "the story behind the story", in the Magical Writings section, to discover where the ideas for my books came from. There are also activities on my site.
If your child loves to write:
Places to explore:
- Your local library!
- Your local bookstore!
- Your home bookshelf!