Just like the New Year we all focus on starting the New School year with good habits. We will get them out of the house on time without loosing it. We will pack/help pack their backpacks to avoid the, ” Where’s my X?” wail in the morning 5 minutes before we’re out the door. We will pack nutritious lunch or snack. Whatever has happened before we all like to wipe the slate clean and try…try so hard this time to do better.
We’re a few weeks in now to the back to school season and there are lots of you with kids in preschool and Kindergarten worried about reading.
When will my child read? Are they behind? Should they be reading chapter books? Should I be looking into phonics?
So what are you reading as a parent about reading?
If you walk down the aisles of supermarkets and toy stores you’ll see that reading is all around you. You can buy anything from books to electronic games. If you take only what you see there you’ll have a very one sided view of what reading is all about. I’m not an advocate of ‘faster is better’ yet this is very much what I see. Let’s focus on what you can do to strengthen our reading knowledge.
Read aloud and read often
Choose a variety of book types.Don’t get stuck on what everyone else is doing to the extent you feel pushed along to follow. It’s a hard road to travel these under 5 years. So much competition to keep up. Learn about your age group from experts.
One way we’ve tried to get a variety of books is to go through the stacks at the library and choose a book from each area.
We’ve had weeks of special books; only audio books; only chapter books; only picture books; only authors from the UK/ Australia etc; only poetry books ; only books on a festival or school topic.
I choose all the books
They choose all the books
Do you set aside a time of day to read? We tried after dinner, one adult would read while the other clean up dishes etc. It became our set time. Now this time is for us to read aloud.
Adapt your reading to your child
I have three wiggly boys. Only one of which will happily sit now and be read to all day or read with you. The MO will sit for periods of time and the LO has just got his wheels so he’s all about exploring- no time to stop. Originally, it used to bother me but I see that it’s ok for them to move and do something while I read. They can sit all of them and they are taking in the books. Having boys too means that I want books that will appeal to them now and switch them onto reading in a way that they love Superheroes. I still need to offer a variety of books but I must think to include reading material like comics, manuals and newspapers to keep them interested.
Reading isn’t just for preschoolers but babies too.
I have a baby who loves the board books. His favourite activity by far is how quickly can I dump all the books of all the shelves? With two older brothers who love to read there are book at their level. We also have piles of books about. We always say, If he could take in knowledge through his hands…imagine what he could be. Since his older brothers went through this stage we are a lot more tolerant now about it than we have been in the past. Just like putting everything in his mouth these are normal developmental milestones of filling and dumping.
Our little fella is all about food so wasn’t keen on storytime in the highchair while he’s eating. But it may work for you.
I recently read Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment
Here’s the review.
Raising bookworms by Emma Walton Hamilton is one of those rare books that you discover that will appeal to parents, grandparents and educators. Emma shows clearly how to foster a love of reading at different ages and stages carefully explaining the background in down to earth language without being too simplistic but using terminology familiar to educators. She takes each age group and after explaining ideas to foster reading she lists out her favourite books. This was an instant success with us because as most parents that read and love books you’re always on the lookout for the next book to capture that next wave of enthusiasm or start a new interest.
Another positive is that you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover. The chapters are short and this book could easily be read in one sitting, if you needed. However, I have boys in three areas so read only those areas; babies and toddler, preschool and Elementary years. I’ll read the middle school and beyond later on. Yes, there is a lot of repetition of ideas because each section can stand alone, but the repetition helps with the continuity of thought to be reminded about the big picture of reading and what you’re trying to develop.
I wouldn’t encourage cover to cover reading but frequent dips especially if you feel at a reading loss or you’ve lost momentum. The sections I read gave new ideas and reminders that I could apply immediately especially the read aloud sections.
I was disappointed that much more wasn’t made of developing reluctant boy readers and their parents and counteracting the wave of boys switching off to books during the Elementary years in the frequently asked questions section. I did enjoy the frequent quotes.
Ideas for getting into a reading groove this school season
- Make your own library at home
Photo credit: Zoe @ Playing by the book
Looking for book ideas and reviews I love Just one more book. This parent team have a podcast in their local coffee house. You really feel like you’re sitting across the table from them as they discuss books and interview authors, illustrators and kids. Each podcast is short and sweet. They cover a wide range of books not often found in the big bookstores without having to order them. I know the big box book stores can’t carry everything but even when I shop around my area I find each store seems to have exactly the same books. So I’m thankful to JOMB for introducing me to books I would never have seen browsing instore but can infact order.
Read Mem Fox’s 10 read aloud commandments
2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.
Maybe you need some new books to read or feel overwhelmed by the choice. Try some recommended books 200 great books for children