With all of the things parents have to think about, how to nurture specific literacy skills can become an overwhelming prospect. Reading comprehension skills like predicting, questioning, synthesizing, the critical elements of fluency and decoding, and basics like phonological awareness are all key areas for developing your child's literacy and setting them up for success.
While those factors are all necessary building blocks, the most crucial element for capturing and holding your child's imagination and nurturing a love of reading is actually really simple. It's ultimately to make your read-aloud time fun.
Here are a few effective ways to make the most out of your read-aloud time by making it fun and memorable.
1. Let Your Child Choose
When your child is given the opportunity to choose their own reading material and their interests take center stage, they will be more likely to pick up books on their own. In fact, according to the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report, 89 percent of kids agree that their favorite books are the ones that they have picked out themselves. Furthermore, 88 percent of kids say they are more likely to finish a book they have picked out themselves.
2. Take Your Time
Remember not to rush through any books that you choose to read together. While it is often tempting to help your child out and read for them when they are still sharpening their skills, take your time and let them sound out words, look at the illustrations, and really enjoy every part of the book. A key factor in nurturing a love of reading is to help your child associate reading with positive emotions and a feeling of calm. This will encourage them to return to the activity to unwind in the future.
3. Talk About What You're Reading
Having lively conversations about what you're reading together will bring the story to life and encourage your child to actively participate. Ask your child things like what they enjoy most about the story so far, how they feel about the main characters, and what they think will happen next. Be their reading role model and tell them your answers to these questions as well. This generates a sense of excitement and helps your child to fully immerse themselves into the story.
4. Make It a Habit
Consistency is incredibly important when it comes to instilling a love of reading in your child. It provides them with something to look forward to everyday — whether it's a new book a day, or continuing the same book with another chapter or a few pages — and makes all the difference. Plus, it's a wonderful opportunity to bond and make new memories they'll treasure as they grow.
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