By Teacher Shannon
Learning to read can feel like such a daunting task for so many children as well as their parents. While I think we can all agree that reading is important in order to be a part of the world, the love of books can be encouraged long before a child reads their first word. In the Early Years of a child’s development there are many ways for a child to benefit from looking at books. This does not mean that the adult consistently needs to be there in order to read the words to their child. When children look at the pictures in books independently, they are only left with their own imagination to fill in the gaps and create the story. While they may not know what the words say it is an important skill to be able to make an inference based on the pictures.
So, how do I get my child to sit down and independently look at the pictures? Here are some tips to get your child interested in books.
- Children are always watching and observing what the adults around them are doing, especially the ones they love. Try reading independently together. Make it a habit to read your own book in front of your child.
- Set aside some time as “quiet time” that may allow your child to be bored and pick up a book.
- Allow your child to choose books from the store that match their interests.
- Start reading books to your child that rhyme, or go along to a tune that students can remember. This way they may be able to remember the tune when they are looking at it independently.
To further your child’s thinking and language skills try…
- Asking questions to your child about what they see in the pictures, What are the characters doing? What do you think will happen next?
- Reading aloud to your child in order to introduce them to words, phrases, and sentences. As you read, point to the words. This will help the students connect the written words to spoken language.
- Using books as a learning tool. Books can be used for children to understand daily tasks such as tidying up, sharing, going to school, etc.
There are a million more reasons as to why books are so important but for now I will leave you with a quote from Dr. Seuss (and in case you have no idea where to start Dr. Seuss has many fabulously fun books).
“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book!”