Reading with babies:
Get on your tummy if baby is already on the ground & select brightly colored illustrations & baby board books. As baby starts to gain a stronger neck & core, choose only sturdy board books or indestructible books* (link below) to read with baby (they can rip or chew on these things & the indestructible books are resilient) as baby sits on your lap (against your stomach.) Soon enough, they will reach out and start to grab the book or the pages; this is beautiful, as it teaches babies how to interact with books!
Reading Tip #42: If you have a reluctant reader, or a reader who is stronger with audio or listening skills, try to find ways to get them listening to books. (i.e. Audible audiobooks, Storyline Online -- link below, & podcasts!)
Reading Tip #41: Quizzing vs. Observing
Why is it important to stop asking our kids pointless questions as we read? Because we want to teach them to think for themselves, & not worry about paying attention just to get the answers right. So instead of saying: "how do you think Cinderella felt when her sisters left for the ball?" You could say, "Hmmm....I'm noticing Cinderella's face in this picture. What emotion do you think she's feeling? She looks sad to me."
Then you're teaching your child the pattern for critical thinking skills & comprehension later on, down the road.
Reading Tip #40: Reread books with your children; it may feel exhausting or annoying at points (to read a book 3-4 times in a row!) but make a game of it! Or try to notice something different in the illustrations or certain words used in the book. Rereading & repetition are crucial for creating a sense of familiarity & all littles need that as they start to learn to read themselves!
Since my son has just entered the realm of learning letters & blending sounds, he is well on his way to reading! We have been trying out various products, but of course, as many of you know, each child is an individual & needs to be taught according to their individual needs. My son LOVES being read aloud to; but he hesitates at reading simple sight word books (which we were dabbling in with the Just Right Reader program. But it was just too advanced for where he's at right now on his reader journey.)
So, one fun thing we are trying out this week for my son, are the Bob Books off of Amazon (I will put a shopping link below) & we also ordered the Versa-tiles that come with some sets of Bob books & a workbook so that he can practice various tasks with numbers (1-9.) When we look at the workbook together, the puzzle-like answer case is positioned above or below the book while we work; once he's placed each tile, we can close the case & lock it & then flip it over to check & see if he's identified the right pattern to match the workbook.
Phonics Pathways is another excellent resource for teaching kids both how to read & spell. My son & I have been studying vowels & vowel patterns out of it this week & there are a lot of good lessons & strategies in that manual! (See both links below for more pricing & details.)
This post is in conjunction with my latest podcast show, #24: Reading Comprehension & Extensions. More show notes on this episode can be found at:
Teaching Reading Comp. Strategies:
Reading Tip #39: Try out book box subscriptions for your children. Getting happy mail each month is truly exciting & it can be engaging for little readers too! Although the books may not be tailored specifically to your child, they can still read & learn about interesting topics, ranging from under the sea, to construction vehicles & towns to socially emotional intelligence books.
So far we have tried out the following boxes:
I would try out even more kids' book boxes (& maybe one for me!) if finances allowed. Currently we are not still doing Bookroo, although their selection is impeccable & I have loved all the books we've gotten. Additionally, we don't always end up keeping a book from the Literati box, so we pay for checking some new books out & loving them, as well some little trinkets, including book stickers with my son's name on them. You do not have to pay return shipping when your week is up.
My First Reading Club includes a variety of picture books in their packages & a gift for Mom too! We got 4 picture books & 1 activity book (stickers, pop outs, etc.) this last time.
Reading Tip 38:
Read with "book buddies" & have book buddies available for play throughout the house. You will be amazed at the imaginative play kids will instill in a little stuffed egg or Pinkalicious doll (from the books you've read with them.) And if you don't have any book buddies currently, make a couple of sock puppets-- your kids will love that too, I promise! Anything to be more active & engaging in our reading.
Read books that follow a certain theme together, around the same time (i.e. trains, pets, construction, dinosaurs.)
This will facilitate an easy compare & contrast discussion as you ask your child to tell you what similarities they see between the books, and then can evolve to a more in-depth analysis of the stories and pictures.
Reading Tip #36: Integrate WORDLESS picture books into your home library collection. I promise you won't be sorry! There are several literary skills that wordless picture books encourage (although they may be more frustrating for an adult to read.) Tune into my podcast next week for more explanation & a list of some of our favorite ones!
I'm Katie Storey. I'm a former elementary school teacher (4th grade was the grade I primarily taught) & I love reading!