It's 2012! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! How many of you let your children stay up until midnight? I know our bedtime routine was altered BIG TIME over the holidays. It's time to get back into the groove! If it isn't in your routine already, make it a resolution and get into the habit of reading to your children every night. It's a great way to wind down your day and spend quiet time with your loved ones. In addition, you'll be giving your kids a definite educational boost! Try some of these tricks to help make nighttime stories fun AND educational!
1. Find a comfortable, well lit, quiet place to read to your children. It's hard to compete with the TV or toys!
2. Point to pictures, titles and figures to find meaning in the story or for a specific word. It's a skill of a good reader to use these clues.
3. As the story moves along, ask your child to predict what might happen next to boost comprehension skills. Ask questions about certain words to increase vocabulary.
4. Make connections by talking about events similar to your life that are occurring in the book. When you make connections, whether they are personal, general, or even similar to another book you may have read, you are helping your children to talk about story themes, thus boosting comprehension.
5. Read with expression. Don't be afraid to get those silly voices out there! Your children will love it!
6. Even when you're trying to give your new reader a chance to read books perfect for their level, take turns reading aloud so that you can read books above their level. Keep reading to your children even when they know how to read!! They'll become better readers. I promise!
7. Be a role model for your children. Read in front of your children. Try to mix up all of the different types of literature (newspapers, magazines, informational, for pleasure). Show your excitement about an enjoyable read!
8. Don't give up on reading if your child has trouble sitting still. They'll learn if you keep trying!