We’ve all heard it a million times: Read to your children, it helps develop pre-reading skills.It’s your duty and obligation as a parent.
Okay, so maybe that last one is a bit strong but don’t we have a responsibility as parents to help our children? The point is that those who tell us to read to our children usually have very good reasons for telling us to do so.
Researches confirm that the benefits of reading aloud continue into elementary school: “Listening to stories read aloud by the teacher is one effective way for students to enrich vocabulary.”
According to the Reading is Fundamental campaign(1), every time we read aloud to our children, we are stimulating their imagination.
The Multilingual Children’s Association(2)confirms that “frequent book reading leads to more advanced language skills.” It is not just the type of books, the level, or even the language in which they are written that matters. Literacy is a result of frequency; the old “practice makes perfect” .
If your child is consistently intrigued by the traditions associated with the Spanish language, he or she will be more apt to read about them. Encourage an interest in your native culture buying books in Spanish or borrow them from a local library.
Here are some ideas that the experts recommed to make the most of this reading time and also help to build our child’s literacy skills while keeping it fun: (3)
Make reading a part of every day: Try to read to your child for at least 15 minutes each day. Bedtime is an especially good time to read together.
Hold your child while you read: Sit with your child on your lap as you read. Let him or her hold the book and help turn the pages.
Read with fun in your voice:Use your face, body, and voice to make reading fun. Use different voices for different characters.
Know when to stop: If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away for a while. A few minutes of reading is ok. Don’t continue reading if your child is not enjoying it. With practice, your child will be able to sit and listen for a longer time.
Talk about the pictures: Point to the pages and talk about the pictures in the book. Ask your child to look at the pictures for clues to what the story is about.
Show your child the words: As you read the book, run your finger along the bottom of the words. Soon your child will realize it is the words that are read and not the pictures. If you’re reading a book in Spanish, feel free to let your child know the English version of a word. Say something like “Perro is called dog in English.”
We are sure there are plenty more ideas on how to read to our children and we would love to hear about them so do please please feel free to leave us a comment!!
(1) http://www.rif.org/ (2)http://www.multilingualchildren.org/(3)Source: colorin colorado