Young kids love to read the same book over and over again. Their developing brains see new things in the pictures and better understand the story each time they read it. Plus, the consistency of seeing the same story unfold the same way each time helps children develop a strong sense of sequencing and process.
Sometimes the world can be a scary place for kids, especially when families are stressed by jobs, healthcare, and quarantine issues. Books provide a comfortable escape and a way to see that things work out at the end of the story. So, please, don’t feel badly if you’re bored as an adult reading the same story again to or with your child. You are helping your child learn to deal with the world!
Even the smallest child can memorize a dozen of their favorite books. This repetition also helps kids remember ‘sight words’, the many words that don’t conform to phonics or ‘sounding them out’, like DOUGHNUT, which a child might try and pronounce like DOO-G-NUT or THROUGH, which phonetically should sound like THROW-GH or KNIFE may sound out as K-nife. These are called sight words, where children need to see and hear them repeatedly to know them by heart.
Reading aloud lets children hear the words and (by pointing at the words when you read) see them and match them with the story. This builds their vocabulary, and they start to understand the many ways words are used in sentences and actions to describe what is happening. This can make for a richer, deeper understanding and love for the printed word. Perhaps the most important reason to read to your child is to create a strong bond; a lasting experience of memories reading together. Give your child a sliver of your time and a big piece of your mind.
What to read? Almost anything your child loves. The most requested books we gift to kids are those with a funny story, or those that talk about gross things!
- Fiction lets kids see that imagination can take them anywhere.
- Non-Fiction teaches them about facts and fascinating subjects of all kinds.
- Poetry shows that words rhyme, and it is easier to memorize rhyming words.
Kids Read Now has many “read-to-me” books. Many of the words will be too big and hard for a learning reader to read on their own; but they will understand the story and the words, especially if you stop and ask questions such as:
- Let’s look at this new word. What does it mean? Can you pronounce it?
- What might happen next when I turn the page? Why do you think that?
- Show me all the people and animals on the page.
- Show me everything with two or more colors.
- What is the name of that dinosaur? (surprisingly many first-graders can name a dozen different ones, because they LOVE the subject)
No matter whether your child reads alone, or you read to him or her, encourage reading every day. Building reading skills at home is the best way to reinforce those taught in school and will make your child a better reader and a stronger student.