Reading is everywhere! Reading is the key to opening doors and avenues for every learner, no matter the age. Whether it is success in school or society, a child’s ability to read is essential. The written word is everywhere in our global lives and must be mastered…simple, huh?!
Of course I’m biased, but reading, just for the enJOYment of the experience, is a treasure to be savored. It can take you to new heights on any given day in any given situation. Reading stimulates the imagination through various genres—whether delving into a juicy mystery, solving the challenge of a crossword puzzle, devouring a recipe, or developing a wealth of knowledge on a new topic, reading is the catalyst for everything we do.
You are your child’s first teacher and your responsibility for the reading process starts long before entering the school doors. Readiness involves inspiring your child to read through your example, making reading fun, and ensuring reading is a critical part of daily family life. Making time for reading and creating an environment filled with non-stop reading experiences can be a challenge to every busy family, however, we know children emulate what is created around them. What does your family do to support reading daily in your home?
Attaching positive experiences to the reading process for children creates an association of reading and enJOYment. Even 5-yr.-olds still like “lap time” with a parent or grandparent! Reading items in the grocery store while you shop, reading billboards and logos or signs as you drive, reading menus at restaurants—all these daily activities help in the overall process of learning to read! A light bulb will go on when you least expect it and suddenly, you’ll find your child will read everything to you!
Library or bookstore cards can be a celebration of reading. Visits to the library, a book store, or book fair should become a routine part of family life. Encouraging a child to discover and find books on his or her own is rewarding. After all, books personally chosen are usually books read because interest is there first; these same books often create memories and experiences the child uses later in life.
There are really two important aspects to the reading process:
- Learning to unlock the word sounds
- Understanding what those words mean
As a parent or teacher, children’s literature becomes an important tool to teach young learners not only words, but the meaning of what they read—those tricky comprehension skills. Asking questions during the reading process enhances comprehension because it allows the learner to explain what she did (or perhaps did not) understand during reading. Children experience life lessons during the reading process as well. While hearing (or reading) a story, the child begins to relate her own life experiences and thoughts to what is read while gaining additional insight into who she is and what her ideas are.
We have many ideas to challenge our learners in their reading in the coming school year and we invite YOU to actively participate in this quest with us! We can all agree, reading is important…now we need to unlock the desire in every single child this year to become a lifelong reader and learner! Please join us! 🙂