Going by the book

Read-Aloud Tips

January 12, 2000|By Susan Rapp | Susan Rapp,Village Reading Center

Reading aloud is the magic key that opens up the world of books for your child. One of the most widely recognized experts in the read-aloud movement is Jim Trelease, author of "The New Read-Aloud Handbook." Along with many other educators in the field of reading, Trelease recognizes that successful readers are those who have early and ongoing experiences with literature at home. Here are some of the ways to share reading with your child based upon current research:

* Begin reading to your child as early as possible. Even infants love the sound of your voice and the colorful pages.

* Read as often as possible. A half-hour a day is advisable. Jim Trelease recommends reading both at bedtime and before children leave for school.

* Allow your child to choose the book or story he wants to hear, even if it's one you've read many times before.

* Start with picture books and build to storybooks or novels. Occasionally read above your child's age and grade level, but not above his emotional level.

* Have your young child sit in your lap as you read or sit next to you so she can follow the print from left-to-right and top-to-bottom. Point to the words as you read.

* Select a variety of different subjects and vary the length of the read-aloud sections.

* Begin by discussing the title or pictures. Allow time for discussion before and after the session or stop at times and let your child predict what will happen.

* Use lots of expression when reading. Change your voice to indicate different characters, use an accent or read slowly to build suspense.

And Some Don'ts

* Don't continue reading a book that your child isn't enjoying.

* Don't rush the sessions or become impatient. Allow time for discussion.

* Don't stop reading aloud to your child once he can read independently.

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