Do you have a book that your munchkin just can't get enough of? For my little Gus Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Little Blue Truck and The Pout Pout Fish top his list. If you're like me you probably have the majority of the book memorized. This obsessive love for a particular book should be seen as a great thing. Even though as a parent you may dread the hundredth time you are asked to read this book, this repeat reading is helping your child's development.
Repeat book reading will help increase early literacy and language development. Each time a child has a book read aloud to them they are picking up new information and their connection with the story grows.
As my child is in a critical stage of learning and development I have been researching how to better enhance his development. I picked up some great tips from earlyliteracylearning.org on how to encourage child engagement.
- Encourages Child Participation: Reader says, “Help me read the story,” or engages in talk in general during the reading episode.
- Uses Manipulatives and Illustrations: Reader uses props, toys, or illustrations relevant to the book that help engage the child in the reading episode.
- Adult Responsiveness: Gives positive feedback Reader verbally reinforces child’s comments or participation.
- Labels: Reader names an object, its properties, or an ongoing action, or asks child to label or point to object or action.
- Models Responses: Reader offers examples of the response for which he/she is looking from the child.
- Explains: Reader clarifies the meaning of the words that the child may not yet know.
- Questioning Prompts Responses: Reader asks child to make comments, ask questions, or share relevant personal experiences during the reading, and to verbally retell the story.
- Asks open-ended Questions: Reader asks the child open-ended questions about the book during the reading episode such as predicting parts of the story.
There is definitely an art behind reading aloud. The days of just reading the book are long gone. Think of your learning experience in school, did you learn best from the teacher who just had you read the material or was it more beneficial for you to actively engage in discussion and activities? The part I love best, and at the same time is the most terrifying about raising a tiny human is the direct impact that I have on my child's future. I love that something as simple as reading aloud with a little strategy behind it can make such a huge impact.
Vocabulary can be one of the greatest predictors of success when a child starts formal learning. The fun part is that you don't necessarily have to expose your children to lots of books, sometimes less is more. Now when our kids asks us to read that book for the hundredth time hopefully we will look at it a little differently.