Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reading Aloud is always essential...

Reading aloud to kids is as important all through life as it was when they were toddlers. They learn so much listening to the inflection and expression in your voice - and they are able to comprehend stories without the burden of decoding.

Reading aloud to your child should not be the way you read exclusively. Even now, with Nick at two, I have him read me a book each night. He tells me in his babble about the pictures, and whatnot I don't understand. As he does, I nod my head and confirm with words, "Yes, that is a bulldozer. I see how it pushes the dirt," or whatever is on the page. He usually acts things out or makes noises like the item.

One time we were reading an ABC book and he saw a balloon. Immediately, he stood on his bed, pointed towards the ceiling and shouted, "Up in the sky!" I remembered that we had "lost" a balloon to the sky before...and he remembered looking up and watching it go. That is connecting for him - schema - using what he knows from his prior knowledge/experience to comprehend what he is reading.

Wow. Long tangent. My point is to read out loud to them, but balance that with them reading to you aloud and them reading alone silently. BALANCE.

We are reading Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff. It is a Texas Bluebonnet Nominee, and I know that most of my kids wouldn't pick it up on their own. But since we have been reading, they have been asking for other books to read either by the same author, or similar in content.

That's the magic - you can introduce and get them excited simply by sharing it with them. Yes, I know you are busy - but make the time to keep reading aloud.

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