Reading at Home

Wednesday 28 Feb

The introduction of Daily 5 to our curriculum repertoire and especially the concept of ‘good fit’ books has dramatically increased our students’ love for reading – just ask Grant and Lisa in the library, who have been positively overwhelmed by this growing culture!

Students’ literacy development is not based purely on what happens in the classroom. It’s well-documented that reading to children at home can have a positive and lasting impact on literacy development. But did you know the conditions required for this to take place? It’s quite simple, really: read with your children, not to them. Rather than your son or daughter passively staring at pictures while you read, actively involve your child in order to engage him or her with the text. Depending on the age of your child, you might have him/her turn the page, point to relevant pictures, or point to and name the first letter of each page. Or you might ask questions such as, ‘What do you think will happen next?’, ‘What do you think the character is feeling at this point?’ or ‘What would you do the same or differently if you were in the same situation as this character?’. Keep in mind that the goal in reading is not to simply read words on a page, but to be able to understand, synthesise and critically analyse the content.

Reading should be fun. Make it a special adventure, if you can. Maintain the fun by allowing your child to select the material (yes, even if it’s the same book you’ve been reading for the past 3 months!), taking regular trips to the local library, and engaging in regular discussions about what different family members have recently read (don’t limit this to large texts – street signs, cereal packets, magazines and blogs count, too).

Most importantly, don’t stop reading to your child once he or she is able to read independently. Your continued role modelling and the bonding that is created through this intimacy will prove valuable in the years to come.

There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Don’t just teach your children to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything. George Carlin

I’m reticent to recommend unofficial blogs however, I’ve found Jenae Jacobson’s 10 Steps to Teaching Your Child to Read a valuable read for those seeking further inspiration. Enjoy!

- Jane Mueller