Thursday, September 15, 2011

Early Childhood Education-Guest Post

I know I vent a lot of times on here about my precious little ones driving me crazy, but I want to take a moment to stress how important it is to read to your kids. I know things get stressful and we don't always want to take the time to sit down and read a story to them. But it really is such a good way to bond with them. And it also helps develop their language and comprehension skills. I'm by no means an expert on any of this but I do have an expert guest posting for me today.

Kathleen is a Communications Coordinator for the Atlanta day care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Literacy at Early Ages:

Building a Foundation for Success

By: Kathleen Thomas

Several studies and trials have found that being exposed to books and related activities when young can help a child be successful in school when they are older. Some parents may not know when they should start to read to their kids. What some of them may find shocking, however, is that a positive relationship with books can be instilled in their children the moment they are born. At first, reading should involve pointing out the pictures and talking in a variety of voices. The discussion you have with your child doesn't actually have to be what is written in the story. In fact, it's recommended that you personalize the book to better interest your child and get his attention.

If you want your child to grow up to love reading, it is essential that you make time to read two to three books to him every single day. As he gets older, this reading time can become the two of you reading together or him reading to you. This needs to be in conjunction with the reading they are doing in class. Dr. Spock's Baby Basics author Robert Needlman, MD, states that one of the most vital aspects of creating a reader is sharing books with him from infancy. This is something you don't need a prescription for - instead you need to set aside a few minutes each day to sit down, connect with your kids, and read to them. The event must unfold in a way that is entertaining for your child so they will be engaged and not bored.

Book selection is also important to making the reading time you and your child share enjoyable. Choose books that you like to read so that you can get into the story and use entertaining voices and movements as you read to your child. The story you read should be interesting yet simple so the child can follow. Repetition in books makes them easy to remember so that even preschoolers can help you tell the story. Your child will likely want to hear his favorite books again and again, which is another reason you should choose books that you don't minding reading multiple times. Your child will notice your appreciation for literature and will soon begin to love it himself.

The following suggestions will help you and your family create an environment that fosters positive relationships with reading.

Fill your child's bookcase stories appropriate for his age on a variety of topics.

Read at least two books every day from the time your child is born. Support them to get into the story with you when they are older.

Keep a couple of your child's favorite books in your vehicle for them to flip through when travelling or waiting in traffic.

Get involved with the subjects your child is learning in
preschool. Find books that are related to these topics so the learning can be continued by reading at home.

As your child gets older, encourage him to begin reading his favorite books to you. Allow him to tell the story in his own words if he hasn't quite mastered the art of reading just yet. The story is likely to be a little different each time he goes though the pictures, which only means he has a creative imagination and can interpret the pictures in many different ways. He is understanding that books are used as a form of communication, which is important in literacy.

As children grow, one of their top priorities is to master language and parents can faster this learning by communicating with them through with books, songs, and other forms. Reading to your child fosters the understanding of the written word and that the pages within the book cover provide the reader with a story. Cognitive development is supported by reading to your child, so be sure to grab a book and read every day!

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