December 5th, 2013 - Category: Kids and Reading
Reading is an important skill that will help your child succeed in school and throughout life. But how and when do you start teaching your child to read?
Learning to read starts younger than you think. Very young in fact, because learning to speak is actually the foundation for learning to read. Children develop important language skills from birth – and early language abilities are directly related to later reading abilities. The connections in the brain that develop when a child learns to talk are the same connectors that will help them learn to read.
Did you know… At 4 -5 months old, a child can start to recognize their name. At 8 months old a child can start to distinguish word patterns. At 3 years old a child can start to repeat simple rhymes. At 5 years old, a child can start to match sounds with letters.
So, to begin with, an easy way to help your child learn to read is to help them develop their language skills.
Here are a few ideas to help build your child’s language proficiency and boost their reading abilities as well.
1. Talk with your child. Encourage them to answer and ask questions. Instead of listening to the radio on the way to the store, turn it off and talk to them about their day, their favorites, their friends, etc.
2. Point out and identify new objects around them. Let them feel, taste, and smell the objects when appropriate for multiple sensory identification.
3. Sing with your child. Many times a small child can repeat a long line of words in the form of song before they can speak a full sentence. Sing them your favorite nursery rhymes or lullabies as they fall asleep.
4. Make up rhymes with your child. Be silly while teaching them how to rhyme. They will love it!
5. Tell them stories. Ask them questions or make predictions about how the story will end.
6. Read them books. Have them retell the story to you at another time. Discuss story elements, cause and effect, orders found in the book, main ideas, characters, and details.
7. If a child is interested in a certain book, read it over and over to them. Point out words in the book as you read them.
Speaking and listening are the building blocks of early literacy. Children whose parents read to them, tell them stories, talk and sing songs with them – develop larger vocabularies, become better readers, and do better in school. So speak your way to reading with your child today.
November 13th, 2013 - Category: Kids and Reading
Helping you child put their best foot forward at school is a priority of every parent. Do you know what book your child is reading in class, or when their science project is due?
Here are a couple pointers to help ensure their success at school.
1. Be involved. Talk to your child about their assignments, what’s going on in class, and how things are going with their friends. Communicate with teachers as well to make sure assignments are getting done and behavior in class is appropriate. Many schools have grades, attendance, and even behavior logs in the internet now. Good communication is always the first step toward improvement.
2. Make a homework spot. Designate a place in the house for each child where they can do their homework. It should be free of distractions and noise. But make sure it’s a place close enough to where you will be so they can ask you for assistance if necessary.
3. Uplift them. When it comes to a child’s self-esteem, it takes 10 positive comments to make-up for just one negative one. So instead of adding to the cruel comments that they may hear at school, give them uplifting, positive comments instead.
4. Eat healthy. Make sure everyone starts the day off with breakfast. If possible, opt for something that is high in protein instead of a sugary, carb-loaded cereal or toaster pastry. It will help satisfy them for longer and eliminate that mid-morning “blah” feeling. Offer healthy options for lunch and dinner as well, and drink more water!
5. Get moving. Being more active will help not only their bodies but also their minds grow and develop. It will also give them an opportunity to let off some steam and balance their bodies energy.
6. Get a good nights sleep. Recent studies show that most kids ages 2 – 18 need 10 hours of sleep a night. I know what you’re thinking…impossible! Right? With busy schedules, getting just 8 hours is hard enough as it is. Maybe your goal can be to simply increase it, even if just a little. Turning off electronic devices earlier in the evening can help kids wind down faster. Try reading a book as an alternative.
7. Read a book. Reading is the key to all learning. Read to your children often and have them read to you. Encourage them to always have a book that they are reading on the side. Take them to the library and attend reading hours or book tours if possible. You can even swap books with friends. Use the books that you are reading to come up with places to visit or things to see or learn more about. Make books fun.
August 28th, 2012 - Category: Kids and Reading
Do you ever feel like you have to drag your child away from the video games to grudgingly get your kids to read? Reading may seem like a past time in your home, but with the benefits it can bring to your life, and your child’s life, it shouldn’t be.
The more you read the more you know. Encourage your child to always have a book they are reading, whether for class or outside of class.
Find times that would otherwise be wasted and offer them a book to read instead of being bored. Keep a couple of books in the car for drive time. Stash one in your purse to pull out while waiting for appointments. Everyone’s ready to go but mom? Instead of turning on the TV for five minutes, have some books left out on the end table, ready for kids to read.
Reading can be more fun if your child chooses the book they want to read. Encourage them to stay within their reading level, and you can offer suggestions based on their interests or needs at the time, but ultimately, they are more likely to read if it is something that they choose. The more your child reads the better their vocabulary, the higher their test scores, and the better they will be able to think themselves through classes and situations.
Reading will enrich your child’s life, strengthen their mind, and help them better understand themselves and others. Reading is the price for success in school, work, and life. Kids and reading should go together more often. It always helps when they get rewarded for reading. Consider using MyJobChart.com and reward their reading in any amount.
Enjoy a book yourself. If your child sees you reading it will rate higher on their priorities as well. It’s never too late to learn something new. You’ll probably enjoy it more than you thought.
Reading a book together will also strengthen your relationship with your child. It will give you opportunities outside of the normal parent/child scope of conversation, where you can relate to, and question their thoughts and reactions to the book. A struggling relationship can be nurtured by talking about items that aren’t among the things you usually fight about.
The two words, kids and reading, may not be in your families vocabulary, but investing some time in encouraging them to read may reward you, and them, with a brighter future. If you don’t believe me, read a book, and see for yourself!
August 16th, 2011 - Category: Kids and Reading
We’ve already written a few articles about the benefits of kids reading. And in those articles we gave you all kinds of facts about how kids that read perform better in school. So we’re not going to rehash that information. Today, we want to focus on how difficult it is to get kids to read.
Sure, you may have a child or two or even three who read voraciously – perhaps to the point that you wish they’d get outside and do something else. But not all of us are that lucky. For many parents, just putting kids and reading in the same sentence sounds like wishful thinking.
So what makes the difference between the two? What would cause one kid to want to read and another to do everything they can do avoid it?
Here are some thoughts:
Your attitude toward reading is going to affect how your children feel about it. If they see you pick up a book once in a while, they may engage in the same behaviors. However, if you’re like most parents, you come home from a long day of work and just want to vegetate. So you flip on the t.v. instead. That’s understandable behavior. But if that’s what you’re determined to do day in and day out, then expect the same attitude from your children.
Also, many children seem to have preconceived notions that reading is boring, or tough, or a waste of time. It’s important for parents to make a positive correlation between reading and their kids. One way to accomplish that goal is to give them something enjoyable to read. If they’re not into the classics, don’t hand them Robinson Crusoe.
Getting kids to read is as simple as buying them a monthly magazine subscription. “Highlights” has some great stories for younger children. And once your kids hit those teenage years, feel free to give them “Seventeen” magazine or something similar. No, fun magazines may not stimulate your child’s intelligence. But any kind of reading is going to be beneficial to your children.
You may also want to try playing some games. Scrabble and other word games may encourage your child to read a little more often and pick up a larger vocabulary. Seeing their parents take an interest in them can really do a lot to help encourage kids. You may ask them to help you complete a word puzzle or crossword. Play spelling games in the car and try to just have fun with words.
If nothing else works, then add reading to your child’s chore chart. When reading becomes a chore and they refuse to do it, go ahead and make it a chore. Whether they enjoy it or not, at least your children will be getting the full benefits of reading.
Don’t make the assumption that just because your kids are in school they are learning everything they need to know. Get your kids reading more now. And if you have to make reading a part of the chores, then by all means try it.
February 8th, 2011 - Category: Kids and Reading
It’s every parent’s dream – to have a child that loves to read. But for most parents, that isn’t the case. Many kids would rather do just about anything else than read a book. But as a parent, can you ignore the benefits of getting your kids to read?
Studies have shown that children who read more have better language skills. They tend to do better in math, history, and other school subjects. They learn concentration skills. And children who read are more likely to achieve greater success in life.
So now we get to the heart of the matter. You want your child to experience the benefits of reading. They may have other plans. So should you make reading a chore? And go so far as to include it on their chore chart?
Well, if they’re not going to read on their own, then absolutely. Make it a chore. Like cleaning their room or taking out the trash, kids will learn valuable skills from completing their chores that will help them later in life. But here are some ideas for helping your child achieve success with their reading chores:
Set specific goals. Unlike doing the dishes or vacuuming the house, there is no natural stopping place for reading. For reading to work as a chore, you must clearly identify how long the child should read, what they should read, and have some plan in place to test their comprehension. (Having a book open for 20 minutes doesn’t mean your child is actually reading it.)
Let your child choose what they read. You don’t want to be a dictator, and it would be really great if your child learned to love reading on their own. The best way to foster that possibility is to let your child choose something of interest to them. Of course, after the tenth comic book, you may need to step in and give them something else to try for a few days.
Logically reward your child for reading. Although most the jobs on your chore chart may be rewarded with an allowance, reading is different. Sure, it can be lumped into the allowance category, but you may want to consider additional rewards. For example, after reading Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia, you may have a family movie night. Let your child tell you how things were different in the book than in the movie. Extra rewards tied to reading will show your child how much you value the time they spend in front of a book.
Always have new things to read. Theoretically, chores should make life for the parents easier. But when it comes to reading, you may need to do a little leg work. Frequently take your child to the library. Let them see the choices they have and allow the librarian to get them excited about a story or new book. Giving your child the freedom to explore and choose books on their own will encourage their efforts.
Several articles we’ve read say that forcing a child to read doesn’t work. They should be guided toward choosing books over video games or television. But how many children are strong enough to withstand the appeal of Mario Cart or Wii Tennis?
It may turn out that your children love to read…they just love their Playstation more. If you make reading a chore, you get your children in the habit of building life-long skills. If they never learn to like reading, what can you do? You tried. But at least they’ll still receive the benefits of having read during that assigned time.
At least, that’s our belief. But we want to know your opinion. Do you think reading is an acceptable chore?