Monday, September 26, 2011

If you do ONE thing this week...

CARVE OUT SOME TIME BEFORE BEDTIME & READ A BOOK TO YOUR CHILD. (And make it part of the everyday routine!)

Your child is never too young or too old to be read to. It seems to me that reading 15 minutes before bed is the one thing that gets cut out of the bedtime routine. In my opinion, there's nothing better than that precious cuddle time. Put on the pj's and get cozy away from distraction and noise. Translation: Take your phone out of your pocket and go in another room away from your computer. Build this time up with your child as your "special" time. Pick books that relate to whatever your child is into these days and they're guaranteed not to resist. And keep in mind, that although they may pick the same book to read night after night and it might be boring to you, it is doing your child a world of good. Eventually your child will memorize the text and be able to "read" it to you. When this happens, they are learning about language structure, building confidence and it adds new words to their growing vocabulary.

If you've got an older child that already knows how to read, it doesn't mean you're off the hook with the routine bedtime story. Dr. Burkins, co-author of "Preventing Misguided Reading" and founder or claims that "a young reader benefits from listening to stories just as much as before." Even if your child plays it off that reading isn't 'cool' or books are boring, you are still the parent - aka; the one in control. Burkins goes on to say that reading aloud to them "helps with vocabulary, sentence structure, and comprehension." Plus they'll enjoy the more interesting and developed plots in the longer books that they can't read on their own yet. To keep your child engaged, take turn reading paragraphs. They will follow along better and you'll be able to encourage their progress. If you're reading along with your child as opposed to reading to him, just remember to take it slow. Resist rushing your child to take on a book bigger than their reading level. You might set an expectation that is frustrating to your child. You want to set a pace that makes your child ask for more rather than wearing them out.

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