October 17, 1999
Being considered your child's first teacher of reading may sometimes seem overwhelming to parents and caregivers. But remember, you have many advantages. Your young child naturally loves and trusts you, and (sometimes!) is an attentive audience that you can work with one-on-one. Trust your instincts, be patient, and provide plenty of encouragement, and you can make learning to read adventurous and fun!Most importantly -- read, read, read books to your child. Many parents choose to read before bedtime, but any time of day is a good time for reading.
August 12, 1998
Here are some read-aloud don'ts for grown-ups:Reading stories you don't enjoy yourself. Your dislike will show in the reading, and that defeats your purpose.Feeling you have to tie every book to classwork. Don't confine the broad spectrum of literature to the narrow limits of the curriculum.Reading above your child's emotional level.Selecting a book your child has already heard or seen on television. Once a novel's plot is known, much of their interest is lost. You can, however, read a book ahead of its appearance on television or at the movies.
April 28, 1999
Bedtime is not the only time to read with a child. Have books handy at home, and pack some with you when you leave. Books can be helpful in these situations:* Preparing for new experiences* Relieving stress* Comforting fears* Offering reassurance* Getting silly* During an illness* During time-outs* On the bus* In the car: Yes, stories on tape are a great way to share tales. A road trip also can be a time for passengers to read aloud to drivers. -- Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children by Valerie V. Lewis and Walter M. Mayes
March 24, 1999
Read Aloud TipsNot all books are best utilized as stand-up read-alouds; some are too unwieldy and need to lie flat; some are really lap books, best experienced one-on-one; some are so interactive that they need to be where the child can put his hands on them.Most books will benefit from a caring adult's reading them aloud, but think twice before performing for a large group a book with fold-out pages, tabs, or intricate illustrations that need to be seen to make the story work.Know your audience.
January 2, 2000
"Of all the qualities a teacher might possess, the most contagious is enthusiasm. Are you enthusiastic about books? Do your students ever see you with something other than a textbook in your hand? Have you shared with your class a book you stayed awake reading until 2 o'clock in the morning? Have your read a magazine article or newspaper column to your students about something that really interested you? "If you want your science or history class to be alive, wrap the facts and figures, the dates and battles, in flesh-and-blood novels.
July 8, 1998
Frank B. Edwards, author and creator of Mortimer Mooner, believes the key to a child's future is not in lessons, teams or tutors, but in the books on her bedside table. Edwards wrote "10 Steps to a Kid-Literate Family," for Canadian Family magazine. They are adapted here.1. Start reading aloud to your child early. Just because they cannot talk yet doesn't mean they won't like a good story.2. Make reading a part of the regular family routine.3. Show that reading is a useful skill. Toy assembly instructions, cake recipes and shopping lists provide practical reading experiences with obvious rewards.