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Readiness Corner for June 30, 2008

June 30, 2008 · Filed Under Parents' Corner, Readiness 

Welcome to the first feature at the Learning Nook!  The Readiness Corner is a series of ideas to use with your young child as you share stories and learn together.  Watch for fun ways to help your little one grow and learn and get ready for school in the next year or two. 

Reading aloud is more than simply saying the words, you know.  For your child to get the most possible benefit, you BOTH need to be actively engaged.  As the reading adult, you need to be excited and into the story.  Your child needs to be attending and interacting with the book.  It’s not enough just to repeat the words and hope your child is absorbing them.  Here are suggestions:

Be sure to read the words exactly as printed!  No fair shortening the story because you’re in a hurry or because you’re a bit bored.  The repetition of the same words that match the print will help your child understand that print is a permanent way of communicating.  If you change things around, this vital concept will take longer to develop and your child will be at a distinct disadvantage in school.

Stop and ask questions along the way.  Ask what will happen next or recall what already happened in the story.  Ask about the pictures and ask about the characters.  When you involve your child like this, you will be boosting listening comprehension and you will be laying the foundation for understanding printed material in the future.

Play with the words a bit.  Stop at the end of a rhyming line and see if your child can fill in the correct word or any word that rhymes.  Ask him or her to find words that start with B or end with M on a page.  Let your child say the repeated part of the book when you pause at the appropriate point.  When sharing a familiar book, sneak a totally nonsensical word into the end and then the middle of a line, like “Mary had a little HAM” or “Little Boy RED, come blow your horn”.  See if your child notices the change, and laugh about it together.

Above all, keep reading fun and light-hearted.  If your youngster isn’t in the mood to listen or play with you right then, don’t push.  Also remember that some children, especially active ones, may want to listen while they do other things, such as play with blocks.  Just pause occasionally to check to see if they are attending from across the room.  HAVE FUN!

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