Selecting great stories and the importance of reading aloud to kids
When making presentations to parent groups and professional organizations, my goal is always the same: to inspire adults to read good books to children on a frequent basis.
I have two children and I began reading aloud to them when my oldest boy was 6 months. I continued reading two stories a day until the youngest was about 7 years old. (We still enjoy chapter books together.)
Believe it or not, I actually did the calculation:
8.5 years X 2 stories per day X 365 days = 6,205 bedtime stories! Unbelievable!
Selecting Great Bedtime Stories
We know as parents that we are going to read some books over and over again because our children will insist we do. The rest of the time, let’s do our best to find books that are worth reading.
Whether through this website or a Parent Ed session at your preschool, I want to help you discover some new books that will help your child…
• substantially grow his vocabulary. Remember, we tend to use the same words over and over again when we talk with our children. When we read aloud to them, they encounter new vocabulary. Here are some suggestions for picture books with rich language
• gain and awareness of rhyming and alliteration. Also known as ‘Phonemic Awareness,’ discovering that words are made up of sounds will help your child read and spell. Here are some suggestions for you to support your child’s phonemic awareness.
• learn about places and situations. Whether reading about Madeline’s life in Paris or Ping’s home in China, books take us to new and exciting places. They introduce situations that our children do not encounter personnally.
• explore the language and conventions of print. Children learn that English is read from left to right and from top to bottom. They may also learn that exclamation marks and bold print send a message to the reader.
• discover new information and ideas. Books are a great way for your child to learn about topics that interest them: dinosaurs, castles, robots and undersea creatures! Here are some non fiction picture books that we particularly recommend.
• become a good listener. Ah yes, you can be sure that your child’s teacher will be grateful for his attentiveness.
When selecting books for children we should look for
• respected authors and illustrators and their well-reviewed books
• good matches for our child’s interests (in my case it was, ‘Books about trucks!’)
• ways to connect books with life experiences (i.e. an upcoming trip or planting a garden)
Keep reading, I will do my very best to help you with selecting great bedtime stories.