Previously we discussed how to read to your baby/toddler, and in this blog post we are discussing how to read to your child who is in preschool or elementary school. As children grow and learn to begin reading on their
own, the way we read with children changes to make them a more independent reader.
With the advancement of technology these days, some parents might find that their child shows little
interest in reading. To encourage your child to explore more books, find different ways to make reading
special. Take your child to a bookstore and let them choose which books they are interested in. Go to
your local library together and help them get their own library card. Purchase books for gifts or use
getting a new book to read as a reward. For children who are beginning to read on their own, offer a
choice at bedtime to either read or sleep. Most of the time, your child will choose to read!
Review the parts of a book
Before diving into the story, look at the cover of the book with your child. Talk about the pictures and
what the book might be about. Show your child the author and illustrator’s name and look at the page
numbers. If you have previously read another book by the same author, you can say something like,
“Last time when we read _ by this author we loved it, so here is another book we can try”.
Show your child how we read
Help your child learn to read from left to right and top to bottom. Show how each word is separated by
spaces. Explain how punctuation is a way to show how we talk. Teach your child that we use a period to
indicate a pause at the end of a sentence. Or that using an exclamation point indicates excitement or
Ask your child questions while reading the story. You can ask what they think will happen next or point
to a picture and ask what they think it is. Sometimes, your child may ask you questions while reading.
Always stop and answer the question even if it interrupts the story.
Relate the book to real life connections
Assist your child into making connections between what is happening in the book versus real life.
Discuss how these connections are the same or different than what happens in their life. This can be
things like family traditions, relationships with friends, school setting, etc.
Taking turns while reading
Often times your child will begin to memorize a book they have heard/read many times before. Let your
child take the lead and read the story to you. If you are reading out loud together, you can take turns
with your child by having them read a page and then you read the next page.