Reading aloud to your child can be such a rewarding experience as a parent. It is not just an opportunity to improve their reading abilities, but to improve their listening, comprehension and best of all, their social and emotional skills too. Research shows that the benefits of reading go far beyond literacy. The power of stories can help children understand other people's feelings, perspectives and individual differences. To help you create a strong reading habit with your child and get the most impact out of the experience we've put together the following list of strategies for effective reading out loud.
Form a habit
Spend some time each day with your child and a good book. At bedtime, first time in the morning, after lunch, whenever it fits into your schedule - but make sure you stick to the habit
Get physically close
Make ‘sharing’ a book into an intimate experience that the child looks forward to. Form a book-bond together.
Keep it light
Take away the pressure of being able to read successfully with your young child. If they are having a hard time, offer reassurance and support so that negative feelings and stress are not associated with book-time.
Broaden your material
Don’t limit yourself to story books. Read newspapers, read non-fiction, read poems, read ticket stubbs!
Make it relatable
We all like to be a part of something. Help them to connect the story to their own lives and the experiences you share together. This will help them build empathy and help them to put their own and other’s feeling into context.
"If i were Max, i’d feel exactly the same way!"
"Look, Max remembered to share his sandwich with his friend. Remember when you did that yesterday."
Similarly to the above, get talking. Show your child how reading is an interactive experience and you need to make your own meaning out of the text. Ask questions to yourself and get your child to provide the answers.
"Oh no, Max has left the door unlocked, I wonder what will happen."
"I’m not sure why he did that. Do you think Max was being silly?"
Have fun and be silly
Get into character. Show your emotion when reading. Try out different ways of reading together.
Use funny voices: Kids love a silly voice. Get creative.
Echo read: Get your child to echo a sentence you have just read.
Phone call: If you can’t be there in person, read with your child over the phone. Dont break your habit.
Turn take: You read a sentence, your child reads a sentence. Finish the story as a team.
Chorus read: Read a sentence as a chorus together.
Sing: Turn your sentence into a song.
Use your pets: Read a sentence to your family puppy.
Create a mind movie
Why not get your child to picture what is happening in the story without referring to the illustrations in the book. Get them to cover their eyes and talk about the movie in their mind as they hear the words. What do they see? What do they hear? What do they feel?
Predict the story
To test their comprehension and understanding of the story, ask your child to guess what is going to happen next. What will be behind the door when Max opens it? What will Max’s mom say to him next? This will get your child forming their own questions.
FREE LITERACY ASSESSMENT
Are you concerned about your child’s reading ability? Or would you like to take a look at your child’s progress and reading level? We offer complementary literacy assessments at our center for everyone.
We will assess various reading concepts such as letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. We will identify areas of weakness and provide solutions to help support your child and improve their skill. Please note that the literacy assessment is non-diagnostic and should not be substituted for a full psycho-educational assessment. If you have concerns about your child's wider learning abilities, we recommend a full diagnostic psycho-educational assessment.
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