Studies about reading skills show the significance of building good reading habits at home. School age children need to continue reading over the summer to maintain reading skills. The practice of summer reading will maintain and even improve performance when returning to school. Libraries make reading fun through the annual Summer Reading Club so head to your nearest library for more information.
And remember to set an example at home; everyone in the family should read too!
As a parent you play a vital role in helping your child develop reading skills. Research has shown that when children have been read to on a regular basis as preschoolers, they enter school with larger vocabularies, longer attention spans, greater understanding of books and print, and consequently have the fewest difficulties in learning to read. When you read aloud to your children:
Sharing picture books can be a warm and enriching experience for both you and your child. There is no substitute for reading and telling stories to your child!
Reading can be done anywhere, anytime. Read our book suggestions for preschoolers, babies and toddlers. Take books along and read together at the park, on the beach or visit your local library!Most libraries offer preschool storytime programs. Your preschooler may also wish to participate in the preschool Read to Me Club which is part of the annual Summer Reading Club. Ask for details regarding this club at your local library. Try some of these ideas:
Children learn to recognize letters by sight, but it is more important to know what sound that letter stands for. Alphabet books can show children that "A" stands for "apple" as well as "happy", "ate", and "can". Use as many different ABC books as possible.
MAKE YOUR OWN ABC BOOKS
Together with your child, go though old magazines, greeting cards, etc. and cut out appropriate pictures for each letter of the alphabet. Paste in a scrapbook. Help the child print the letters him/herself.
Look at some picture dictionaries together with your child. Many chidlren enjoy seeing new words in print with pictures accompanying them.
Read a picture book with your child and together you can make your own story to go with the book; write the story down.
JOKES AND RIDDLES, TONGUE-TWISTERS AND SONGS
Use your child's natural love of funny stories, poems, jokes and tongue-twisters, and cartoons. Copy out the words to your child's favourite songs and poems.
Have your child listen to the tape and follow along in the book. The kids entertain and supplement the "learning process". Check out your local public library for these read-along cassette/book kits.
Many magazines such as Highlight, Owl, Chickadee and Cricket have beginning-to-read activites with parent/teacher guides and suggestions.
HOW TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ BOOKS
There are many parents' guides available at your local public library. Ask the children's librarian at your library for help if you don't know where to look.
Play games such as Scrabble Alphabet Game or Alphabet Bingo with your child. Make up your own games, e.g. "Words beginning with the same sound", "Words that end with the same sound", "Words that rhyme" etc., or buy a box of Alphabet Cereal and see how many words that you can make from one handful.
LABELS AND SIGNS
You can label your child's possessions or his favourite collections; for example, signs in one child's room--"Rock Collection," "Toys", "Fish Tank", "Clothes" etc.
Continue to read to your child while they are learning to read and even when they read well. Share your stories with each other. Read aloud the funny or interesting parts of books, newspaper or magazines. Encourage your child. Most important--keep it light and have fun!