Reading With Your Child: How to Teach and What to Read?
Unfortunately, reading books with children, even before bedtime, isn’t a usual family ritual anymore. Instead, parents turn on an educational cartoon or audio fairy tales to promote child reading.
Of course, there is nothing bad in educational cartoons and audio fairy tales if you use them sufficiently. But if they disrupt reading together - that’s a big deal! Reading helps your baby’s speech development.
How to teach the child to read?
It would be best if you started child reading from early childhood. The younger the kid is, the more interesting new colorful books will be for them, and the faster they will develop the habit of reading.
Choose bright-colored books with nice illustrations and interesting topics for the child. For example, if your kid is fond of cars, read short stories about different vehicles. Then, it’ll be interesting for the child to play in something similar as in the stories.
Retell what you’ve read together with the child. You can ask your kid what the story is about directly or in passing (“I forgot what we read about yesterday. Can you remind me?”)
To teach a kid to read, create a pleasant atmosphere: soft light, a comfortable place for reading where you can sit close to your child.
Arrange books in such a way that the child can come and choose the book they like the most. The so-called Montessori shelves work great: the child sees the covers of every book
If you notice that the book is not interesting for the child (they get distracted, turn around all the time, and do everything possible if only to avoid listening to your reading), put this book aside, take a short break, and let your child choose another book. You should also have 2-3 new books in reserve to get the baby interested. Forced reading won’t be useful.
Never punish your child if they don’t want to listen to your reading. Remember that your task is to get the child interested.
While reading, pay the child’s attention to illustrations, explain to them what’s depicted there, ask the child to find or point at something in the picture. Let reading be a sort of game.
Read the same books a couple of times if the child really likes them. Very soon, they’ll start reciting their favorite stories - that’s great! The volume of readings doesn’t matter. A child’s emotions are much more important. You should strive for quality. Quantity will come over time.
What to read?
It's recommended to read short rhymes and fairy tales for children under three years old. The deep meaning of the plot is useless at this age.
You can start reading rhymes for the baby during infancy to help the baby’s speech development. Pay a lot of attention to poetry and nursery rhymes when your child is 2-4 years old. That’s the period of dynamic speech development.
Since verses are built on sound combinations, the rhyme develops a child’s sense of language, active and passive vocabulary; teaches them to differentiate sounds, and prepares the child for reading.
While reading, you can clap the rhythm with your hands. You can teach your child to clap when they hear some specific words.
Teach your child to repeat after you the last words or syllables of the last words in the line, then teach them to repeat the whole line. At the age of 2 years, the child can remember a simple poem of 1-2 quatrains, at the age of 3 - the whole fairy tale rhyme.
Bedtime reading should become a habit. Read accurately with the correct intonation. You can tell the child’s favorite poems during bathing or washing as well. Remember, that rhymes play a huge role in bringing up your kid and teach them many useful things (for example, helping mom, washing their hands).
The situation is different with a 3-year-old child. They catch the sense clearly and can be happy for the characters or empathize with them. The child is curious about what will happen next. Some short stories about nature and animals can be interesting for this age group and they from words helped my baby’s speech development.
By the age of 4, the child is interested in scientific facts. They wonder how this or that thing works. Special children's encyclopedias will be useful.
More Ideas to Read with Your Child
When choosing a book for a 7-year-old kid, pay attention to illustrations: they must correspond to the text. Pictures of animals and humans should be more or less realistic.
Preschoolers of 5 - 7 years old should read books with a larger volume, by parts, and “with continuation.” When you start reading the next part of the book, recollect how the previous one was ended: “Where did we stop yesterday?”
Before reading, tell the child the title of the book/fairy tale/short story you are going to read. For example, “I’ll read you the fairy tale …”
Don’t use books only for moralistic purposes. Don’t remind the child every time that they have to do something as a positive character of the book does (for example, washing hands before the meal). It can cause a false perception of the book as a set of rules only. The child’s attitude towards reading will turn negative.
Make sure that the child understands the meaning of words. If some keywords give sense to the whole story, explain their meaning before reading.
The main rule: don’t read a story if you don’t like it or don’t understand which emotions to express. If the plot of the book is confusing, put it away. In the process of reading, you should share your emotions about what you read. If you do, reading to the child will be useless.
Did you like our article? If so, Check out our other related articles.
- Interesting Tips Parents Can Help a Baby Start Talking and Forming Words
- Best Board Games for the Whole Family To Enjoy