No Title 1405
How Most Children Learn to Read
Describes the process of learning to read, and how adults can help.
Helping Your Child Learn To Read
Activities to do with children from infancy through age 10.
Reading Planet for Kids
A kids’ reading Web site with games, contests, and stories. The Activity Lab offers an interactive coloring book and you can illustrate a story.
For more information about volunteering with the America Reads program in western Kentucky, call Sandra Mattingly in Owensboro, (888) 683-1527. For information about the program in the rest of Kentucky, or anywhere in the nation, call (800) 424-8867.
Reading aloud to children is the best way to help them develop their reading ability. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, or babysitter, you can give kids a gift that will last a lifetime. Here are some tips from children’s librarians:
1. It’s never too early, or too late, to start reading to a child. Even babies enjoy hearing stories and nursery rhymes, and older children who can read on their own still love to be read to.
2. Set aside a special reading time each day, such as bedtime or after lunch. Choose a cozy, quiet place with no distractions. Sit so that children see the book right-side up, especially for picture books. Let them touch the book, and point to words and pictures. Some kids need to move around while they listen—that’s OK. They can still learn and enjoy the story.
3. Read slowly, and allow plenty of time for kids to take in the story and the pictures. Follow along with your finger under the words as you read them. This helps kids see how printed words go from left to right on the page, and top to bottom.
4. Change your voice as you read, to show the mood of the story. Kids love it when you create different voices for the different characters.
5. Make it an interactive experience. Ask questions about the story, like “Why did he say that?” Have children describe the pictures, or ask them to predict what’s going to happen next.
6. Children like to get a sense of completion, so try to finish reading a whole (short) book, or stop reading at the end of a chapter.
7. Many kids have a favorite book, which they enjoy just as much the hundredth time they hear it! Read it as often as they ask for it. Children learn best by repetition. You can point to a familiar word and have them read it, or ask them to finish a sentence occasionally.
8. Choose books related to the child’s interests, or to events in the child’s life, such as moving to a new house or a vacation trip. The children’s librarian at your public library can recommend titles for the whole family to enjoy.
9. Kids love having their “very own” books. You can find inexpensive books for them at yard sales, thrift stores, and public library sales. Schools often send home sale notices for children’s book clubs that offer great bargains.
10. Most of all—have fun! Reading aloud teaches serious skills, but its most important benefit is giving children a love for books and stories.
To read the Kentucky Living September 2006 feature that goes along with this supplement, click here: Raising Readers