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It's summer. Kids are (almost!) out of school and there is time to relax and read!
When children are little, we take the time to read to them. Did you know that it is just as important to keep reading to children, even though they are reading on their own?
By reading aloud with children, you are lengthening their attention span, building their vocabulary and increasing their knowledge of the world. You are modeling the behavior that you want them to emulate.
To make the book come alive, use your voice to show the emotions happening in the book. When you finish a chapter, talk and ask questions to increase their comprehension, curiosity, and background knowledge. Talk about how the characters could have handled something better or differently or ask your child what they would do in the same situation. Talk about the emotions and feelings happening in the book, or perhaps how it can relate to present day happenings.
The list of possible books to read aloud are endless. There are classics like Stuart Little, Charlotte's Web, and The Secret Garden. Visit the dark planet Camazotz in A Wrinkle In Time, or a young Laura Ingalls in the Little House books. Author Beverly Cleary has written so many wonderful timeless books such as The Mouse And The Motorcycle series and the Ramona Quimby series. There may be a movie made from the book you’ve read, so it would be fun to watch the movie after reading the book to note any differences. Also, don’t forget that reading non-fiction books together can be very enticing to a child. Who doesn’t want to read about hero dogs, sharks, or planets? They will be learning, and they don’t even know it because of how you are presenting the topic. Please stop in to your neighborhood KPL branch; we’ll be glad to help you find the right book for your family.
Reading a book aloud together is the least expensive and most effective way to boost your child’s vocabulary and knowledge of the world. We never stop learning and growing, so why not do it as a family? Reading together will strengthen your family bond, and give your child great memories with an emotional connection to well-spent family time.
Early Literacy Specialist
Youth & Family Services
Kenosha Public Library