reading comprehension

What to Keep in Mind Before Your Child Starts Reading

Reading is an essential skill and is the key to the future. Children typically learn to read on their own around pre-K level, but it is never too early to expose your child to books and reading in general.

One of the most important things that parents can do is read to their children, but reading has more benefits than many people realize. Even if a child can not read on their own yet, reading along with your child can help them develop key language and speaking skills, it can help train them to become better listeners, and it can also help them think more abstractly, too.

As beneficial as reading to your children can be, it also helps to make it more engaging. Even if they cannot read on their own yet, they can still engage with the text and the story itself. Ask them questions, inspire discussion, inspire them with what-if’s. These sorts of engaging questions can help kids to interact with books more closely even if they cannot read themselves and can also help to boost reading comprehension skills when they do. Reading is not just about the act of identifying words correctly, it’s also about the story, the characters, and the journey. With narrative text, asking questions can help kids think critically about the story and encourage them to ask questions and make inferences. These skills can also easily be applied to informational text, such as that found in textbooks and other materials children will see in school. By engaging with the text, kids can develop skills that allow them to understand abstract concepts and develop essential problem-solving skills.

Most importantly, asking questions about books helps kids think about books before they’re even reading. By the time they are able to read on their own, kids will have already developed a personal relationship with reading and may already develop a love for books as well.

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How the Reading Aloud Method Will Help Children Love Reading

When it comes to literacy development, there are not many methods better than simply reading aloud. According to the Bredekamp, Copple, & Neuman, 2000 study, it is the single most important activity for reading success and to boost reading comprehension. It not only provides children with an accessible demonstration of phrased, fluent reading but it also provides them with the immediate rewards of reading, developing the listener’s interest in books and piquing their desire to be a reader as they become more skilled.

Reading out loud can be a great tool for parents, as well as a great activity to share with children. Listening to others read can develop key understanding skills and reading comprehension, even if the child is not doing the reading themselves. Active listening can help kids familiarize with the different parts of a story as well as with different and integral parts of language. On that note, children can listen on a higher level than they can read - meaning that they can listen to books that are more advanced than their reading level. This can be extremely helpful when trying to boost your child’s reading skills, reading level, and generally interesting them in reading on their own.

For the most part, a child’s first experience with reading will be story time with their parents or something similar. By making story time a staple of your daily schedule, reading and storytelling can quickly become a very important part of your child’s life. However, parents can take it a step further, too.

Make Reading a Part of Your Lives
When story time has its own time and place, children find meaning for stories and reading in their lives. There are so many ways in which parents can make reading a part stor
of their child’s everyday world. Have books around, of all kinds. Give your kids a little library of their own, but even magazines and coffee table books around the house can pique their interest - one day, they’ll be able to read those things, too. Kids also learn from example, so if you read often yourself, children will develop an interest in reading, too. But overall, if shared story time is something that you do every night before bed, or in any part of the day, they become habits and the comfort they provide can help to ensure that your child is always interested in books, reading and learning.

Encourage Kids to Listen and Form Opinions
Reading aloud is one thing, but it can play a huge role when it comes to active listening. Active listening during story time can help build vital reading comprehension skills that kids will utilize once they can read more independently. Ask your kids questions about the story. Request an overview after every book or chapter. Have them tell you about their favorite characters and why.

Read Aloud - and Think Aloud, Too
In addition to asking kids questions about what you’re reading, asking them to share their thoughts and feelings can help them develop communication skills that can carry across verbal and written forms. Ask them to connect the book to their own life experience, to other books you’ve shared together, and even ask them to connect what they are reading to universal concepts like love, friendship, family, etc. Stories made personally for children can help with this process as they are submerged into the story themselves helping them connect with characters in the story.

Have Kids Read Along
As kids get older and begin to learn, they will surely be able to identify some of the words you’re reading - even if the book you’re sharing is a bit more advanced for them. If kids are encouraged to read along, even if they are still listening, different parts of their brain are being activated and utilized. Kids will have a better idea of the relationship between how words look and how they sound, and they may also develop a deeper understanding of how language flows and how stories develop as well.


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Are You Reading Aloud With Your Child or Do They Read On Their Own?

Why Reading Aloud is Important

Reading is an essential skill to have. It allows people to learn, it gives them access to information and ideas, it allows them to communicate with others and become an active and productive part of their living community. So how do you go about teaching your child to read at their full potential?

One of the best things you can do is read aloud with them.

Reading to children, or having them read aloud along with you, can yield a great many benefits when it comes to reading, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Reading to your child is often their first experience with reading itself. It is important that children develop relationships with books early on. This can be accomplished with books read to children as well as allowing children to play with baby books, typically of the plastic or thick cardboard variety that allows kids to chomp and play with them physically. While kids grow comfortable with books as objects from the standpoint of a plaything, reading to children will help familiarize them with the action.  It will also help boost vocabulary and communication skills as well.

As children get older, reading aloud to them remains important. Reading out loud can help boost their reading comprehension skills on several levels.  "Children learn when they make connections between what they hear and what they know. One method parents can use to help make these connections is called a think aloud, where you talk through your thoughts as you read (Gold, Gibson - Reading Rockets)." This method utilizes their imagination in order to visualize the story being told. If your child is reading along with you, they can begin to familiarize words by sight with their sound, making them much more effective readers. Books personalized for children can boost the read aloud, think aloud, method.  As you verbalize thoughts when reading, children can associate with the story as they become the stars of the storyline.  These types of customized books can be especially helpful with reluctant readers or struggling readers as well.

Your Child is the Star of Each Story!
Having your child read aloud to you can be helpful for them, too. You can hear where their strengths are and where they may be having trouble, but having your child read aloud to you on their own can help build their confidence, find their own voice, and learn how to build their own vocabulary, enunciation and other basic communication aspects as well.

Above all, as beneficial as reading aloud can be, it ultimately provides you and your child with ample quality time that you will cherish for years to come. Setting aside time for reading with your child will help build your relationship and can allow you to share interests, stories and imaginative ideas.



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