Remember the days when if you were board, you picked up a book because otherwise your mom would find extra chores for you to do? Or was that just my mom? Do you remember reading just for fun? Have our busy life styles and dependence on electronic media inhibited our children and grandchildren, pushing them further from the basics such as reading? Sure we can read on our phone, computers and tons of other gadgets, but is that what the kids are using them for, reading?
The frightening truth:
2/3 of children that don't read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in Jail or on Welfare. 19% of US high school graduates can't read.
70% of prison inmates are illiterate.
Where to start:
A good goal for beginning readers is to read or be read to for 15-20 minutes a day and school age children should have 30 minutes which can be a combination of reading aloud and being read to.
Can notice shapes, colors and babble about what is on the cloth, vinyl or cardboard pages. You may notice they will try to imitate your rhythm or the rhymes of language.
Short stories that match the illustrations are great. This age loves books that repeat words or has sounds spelled out such as animal sounds. Your toddle can't sit still? You can still read aloud as they play on the floor. Hearing the language is the first step.
Three and Four-year-olds:
Stories about the real world, animals, vehicles and situations they can relate to are a big hit with this age group. Rereading favorites until a child can retell the story as they turn the pages is the early stages of becoming an independent reader.
Although reading some books by themselves, continue to read to the child and have them read to you. It is a great time for bonding, open-ended questions and discussions. I remember, even in fifth grade, my favorite part of the school day was when our teacher read to us out of a chapter book, everyday.
Start your own library at home from garage or library sale books. Attain a library card for your child and let them choose books. Don't forget, if a child doesn't know what a word means, you can look it up and teach them how to use a dictionary! Read and make recipes together. Read signs aloud in the car and at the store. One character in my children's chapter book, The Curse of King Ramesses II has to tell her father something new she learned everyday. If she can't think of anything from school, she researches a fact, memorizes it and shares it with her father at the dinner table.
Reading carries through to all aspects of our lives. From the basics of applying for a job to reading instructions for putting something together, or to the sheer enjoyment of getting lost between the pages of an adventure. I was one of the kids with a book and a flashlight under the covers when I went to bed.
I'm author Victoria Roder and I write something for everyone. Have children or grandchildren? My picture books include, What If A Zebra Had Triangles and An Important Job to Do: A Noah's Are Tale. Are the kids reading chapter books? Sled Dog Tales and The Curse of King Ramesses II are adventure filled and fun. I also created a puzzle book for teens and adults and have a coloring book coming soon. If you like murder mystery check out Bolt Action. Ghost Stories? You'll love Haunting of Ingersull Penitentiary. Please check out my website Thanks, Victoria Roder