When you make time in the busy family schedule to read to an older child, that speaks volumes to that child about not only how important he/she is, but it also reflects the value that reading together is an important part of the day. Even though as parents we often get caught up in homework issues, reading aloud can be the calming factor for an intermediate child after long days learning at school, participating in after school activities, and the stress of navigating his/her social world.
Here are some things to think about:
*Work with your child to develop a positive attitude that reading is a source of both pleasure and information. Share what you are reading as an adult. Most teachers share the joy they find as readers that way.
*Use the time reading together to make personal connections. Brain development at this age seeks those connections to put new learning into long term memory.
*When you read aloud, let your child hear your "voice" and how you treat punctuation. This helps build fluency and writing skills.
Children need multiple opportunities daily to hear what readers do and think when they read.
*Since reading aloud enhances listening skills, build your child's vocabulary and thinking just by asking simple questions that demand higher levels of thinking. You can also share your own thinking. For example:
*What are you thinking right now?
*Why do you think the author did this?
*What's your opinion of this information/character/action
*What are you feeling when you hear/read this?
*What would you do if you were in this situation?
Read aloud time can not only keep the lines of communication open with your child, it is a terrific opportunity to open up discussions that are important to your family and to your child's growth and decision making. The best part is that you are building memories to last a lifetime. Remember, emotion drives attention, and attention drives learning. Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to continue to develop a love of reading with your child.
For terrific information on books and activities go t www.scholastic.com