Read to me and I will grow.
Read to me about the things I should know.
Read to me right by my side.
Read to me and these things I will apply.
“Read to them”, “Have them read to you”, read, read and read. This was the most common advice for all of our ninos, who came to us behind on various levels. The advice came from their teachers, therapist (OT, Speech, etc.), everyone at their IEPs. Yet books, when the kids first came, were foreign, something they just didn’t “do”.
The first summer reading program was like pulling teeth just to earn their T-shirts. This was a blow to my mom ego, as I had been bringing my bios to story time and the summer reading program since they were in diapers. Literally.
But we pressed on and this past summer reading program the children’s librarian commented, “You have some good readers.” Boost to the ego for sure. Mine and theirs. The general is our bookworm. Nana is reading big books. Still working on the comprehension part of reading, but we’ll get there.
Here Mr. B is reading to the library’s cockroach. Mr. B really struggled with reading. Could not sound out words to save his life. It was such an emotional time having him read to us. I had to give it up for awhile. Hubby stepped in and yet the little wires in Mr. B’s brain seemed to be having such a hard time clicking and connecting. Fast forward to the most recent report card…Mr. B is ON level in reading!! This guy has accomplished so much already.
We read everywhere. In just about every room in the house. We read labels, cooking instructions, homework, the Bible, street signs, etc. It helps them realize why they need to read and understand what they are reading. Mac-n-cheese doesn’t taste too good if you can’t read and/or follow the directions.
There are also some good online sites that read the book to the kids. Storytime Online, Storyline Online. Also, if you have kids from birth to 5, be sure to sign them up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. The kids just love getting the books in the mail with their name on the postal label. These are all free!
How reading helps kids:
*Sitting still. Can’t say enough about sitting still. For all kids but especially kids who don’t know what still means, what safe means, being still means you have not been on alert, not worry about what’s going on around you.
*Focus. Focus on what the pictures are telling you, what the words are saying. Again, focus on the story and not fear what’s going on around you.
*Comprehension. When you can put words to the pictures you see you can get a better understanding of what’s going on in the story.
*Vocabulary. Reading alone won’t build vocabulary, but alongside comprehension, it will. It a child can figure out what a certain word means by deciphering the context of the sentence then they have pretty good problem-solving skills and can figure out just about any word. If you don’t now the words you’re reading, reading won’t be any fun. Chief Potato and Nana don’t really enjoy reading out loud to me. I stop them often from seeing of they understand certain words, if they comprehend what they are reading.
*Problem-solving skills, relational skills. When you read how the main character solved the conflict in the story you gain the knowledge you may need to get out of a jam in the future. You learn how not to be a bully and what to do about bullies, and so on and so on.
*Increases the imagination. Do I even need to explain this one? You can go anywhere, be anyone when you read books.
Tell me your favorite kid books, book sites, or tips on how to get kids to read.