Literacy Series -- Reading Aloud
Do you remember storytime, and how fun it was when your kindergarten teacher gathered everyone on the rug to listen to Curious George? Although you probably didn't know it at the time, whoever read aloud to you was doing one of best things we know of to support the development of life-long reading. Here are some tips and ideas to help make reading aloud a part of your own family's routine.
1. Set time aside in your day -- Don't worry, you don't have to read aloud for a long time in order to reap the rewards. Ten minutes a day is fine, or even less for the especially squirmy baby or toddler. The key is regularity, for example, always reading aloud before bedtime.
2. Make read-aloud time fun -- Choose books you and your child both enjoy. Let your child bring their favorite toy along to read-aloud time. Use silly voices and sound effects. Eat popcorn or other snacks. Reading aloud should not be a chore!
3. Get your child involved -- Ask questions about the book (or the pictures, for younger readers). Ask your child to predict what they think is going to happen next. Talk about what you liked and didn't like, as well as how the book relates to events in your child's life. When your child is old enough, let her read to you.
4. Don't get stuck on novels and picture books -- There are all sorts of things out there to bring to read-aloud time. Nonfiction, magazines, newspaper articles, poetry, and even song lyrics are all great options for reading aloud.
For more information and tips about reading aloud and encouraging reading, try Reading Magic by Mem Fox, Baby Read-Aloud Basics by Caroline Blakemore and The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease -- or take a look at these great resources:
Reading is Fundamental
The National Institute for Literacy
Read Aloud America