Parents as Partners in Reading

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Reading can be a family affair. When you read, you help create an environment that encourages reading in your home. Children imitate and usually want to copy the accomplishments and activities of adults. Here are some suggestions on how to encourage literacy. Happy reading!

• Call attention to colours, shapes and situations in books and relate them to your child’s experiences.

• Give your child time to talk to you. Listen to your child.

• Enjoy the sound of words. Repeat phrases that appeal to your child’s sense of humour or that create a picture with words.

• Read and memorize nursery rhymes. Read poetry together.

• Take pictures of your child involved in daily activities. Put these into a home-made book. Let your child dictate the words that tell what he/she is doing and you write them underneath.

• Let your child help you cook. Read recipes together.

• Have a poem for dessert. Each member of the family chooses a favourite poem to read.

• Read to your children from infancy.

When you read, you help create an environment that encourages reading in your home

• Hold your child close to you and read together every day, even if it is for just a few minutes. Your child will associate books with feelings of warmth and security.

• Make a flannel board. Cut out some simple characters froma magazine. Put sandpaper on the back of paper figures or use pellon or flannel. Keep it simple but give your child time to retell a favourite story or make up an original tale to fit the flannel objects.

• Make a poetry book of favourite poems that can be illustrated with original drawings by children and parents or illustrated with photographs.

• Read books, newspapers and magazines where your child can see you. If children know that reading is important to their parents, they are more likely to think that reading is an activity for both pleasure and for finding out about their world.

• Dramatize stories. Take parts.

• Sing songs.

• Call attention to signs and labels. Say the words – your child can repeat them.

Point to the words so he/she begins to connect the written symbol with the sound.

• Make certain that there is a quiet place in your home without radios, stereos, television sets, telephones and computers. This may be a corner in a large room or even a place in a bedroom that is free from noise.

• Once a week, plan a “sustained silent reading time” when the whole family reads. Don’t answer the phone during this 15-minute period.

• Use motions and make sure your child feels the rhythm of the music. Clapping, tapping, walking, skipping, running in time to music are fun and good exercise.

• Regularly visit the local public library together. Arrange for each child to have his/her own library card. Ask the librarian for suggestions for stories, rhymes and poetry.


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