In the last post of “Let’s read” we spoke about getting babies to fall in love with books. Today let’s look at how we can start getting young kids to read; kids who are in the first or second grade.
At this age the kids are already in school. They are exposed to books and they are expected to know how to read a fair bit – the Dolch list at the very least. They are also expected to comprehend the written word.
Getting Young Kids To Read
When we introduce babies to books and read to them, we are introducing them to sounds and words. Now as they grow and become more aware of the world around them, reading has to relate to life.
I call this age of 4 to 6, the “I” age. This is because they are now learning about their own “identity”. They can distinguish between “I” and “You”. They are also very “inquisitive”. Almost every sentence starts with the word, “why”. They are also getting more “independent” and doing things on their own. And they love to “imitate” the adults around them.
So if you want to get your four or five year old to read, you need to keep this in mind.
Since they will want to do things on their own as well, choose books that have words that they are familiar with along with new words. Read to them but allow them to read the words that they know. So it is more of a read along now, rather than reading aloud to them.
Choose a book with pictures . Let them pause and look at the picture. Talk about the picture. Ask them to guess from the picture what is going to happen.
Choose books with stories that they can relate to; books with toys and animals as the main characters, because all kids love them. Choose books that deal with something they fear and will help them overcome it; fear of the dark or fear of monsters under the bed.
Since they imitate us so much, it is important that they see you reading. If you don’t read, they will feel that reading is not important and something that we can do without. So maybe it’s time you took a break from your daily routine and introduced a reading time for yourself.
I am sure most of you have heard of the concept of ‘Miracle Mornings.” Well I have something called “Miracle Nights”. What is it? Just a very simple habit of reading to and with your kid every night. Make it a part of your routine. Believe me, it works wonders. A lot of my student’s parents swear by it, once they have started following it.
Every night tuck in your child, climb into bed with them and read together. It just takes ten minutes. Start with just two pages a night, unless your child asks for more, which will soon happen. Just cuddle up and read.
And if your child mispronounces a word, let it go. Just read the word yourself and continue with the story. Do not stop to scold her for not knowing the word or to help her break it up phonetically. Remember this is not study time. It is bonding and fun time.