This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, November 3, 1999

November 3, 1999 - Reading Tips for Parents

The Colorado State Library's Reading Readiness Project, using Federal funds from the Library Services and Technology Act, has recently published a brochure that should be required reading for anybody who has children. It's called, "Reading Tips for Parents."

The tips are divided into various observations about, and reading techniques for, children who are under two years old, between 2 and 3, between 3 and 4, and between 5 and 6. As is often the case, I find that the expectations for children often seem pretty minimal. For instance, surely a child doesn't have to be 5 or 6 to "begin to understand that print carries a message" or to "like being read to" and "have favorite books and stories."

At the low end, I think the developmental observation that a 12 month old "understands simple words," "understands and reacts to hand movements, faces, and changing tone of voice" doesn't ask very much of what is, after all, a human mind.

Nonetheless, there are some general reading tips that work for any age, and are worth repeating here.

* Choose a quiet spot for you and your child.

* Read aloud at least 15 minutes a day to your child.

* Establish a routine time and place to read to your child (not just at bedtime).

* Talk with your child when you play and do daily activities together.

* Visit the library/bookstore with your child to attend story times, choose books to read at home, etc.

* Obtain library cards for yourself and your children.

* Make a special place in your home where your child can read and write.

* Keep books and other reading materials where your child can reach them.

* Keep washable, nontoxic crayons and markers and paper where your child can reach them.

* Take books and writing supplies whenever you leave home, so that your child can read and write wherever you go.

* Show your child how you read every day for fun and work.

* Point out to your children the printed words in your home and in the community.

* Talk with your children about their experiences.

* Encourage your child to read independently in his or her own way ("reading" words that aren't really in print to tell a story).

* Verbally "label" familiar objects as you talk with your child.

* Talk to your child as if he or she is a reader now (in process).

* Listen to your child.

* Talk about how you use reading every day.

* Talk about every day happenings. Explain what you are doing and how things work.

* Make your reading fun by using different voices for different parts of the story.

* Talk about the books that you are reading with your child. Help him or her to make connections.

Now all of this won't necessarily turn your son or daughter into an avid reader. But it certainly improves the odds. Not only that, the simple practice of talking and listening to your child makes for an interesting connection in its own right.

No comments:

Post a Comment