Five Easy Steps for Sharing Books
Some parents and grandparents might feel that they don’t have the special training to help their children learn. It’s the love, the sharing, and the connection between your child, and those closest to them that will have a great influence on their learning.
Some general hints for sharing books with your child include:
- When you enjoy words, it will rub off.
- When you enjoy books, it will rub off.
- When you involve your child, as you read a book, your child will want to read.
1. Pick the best time
Timing is everything. Sharing books can be most fun for you and your child, if you pick a time when your child is relaxed, and when you have time to enjoy the book together. A time when you are rushed, or when your child is fussy, hungry, or overtired, might not be the best time to introduce the joy of sharing a book.
2. Positioning is important
Book sharing is a wonderful time for you to get close with your child. It is more fun for children, and they will have a chance to learn more language, if they can see both your face and the pages of the book. When your child is turned sideways on your lap, you can still cuddle, but you have the chance to see what your child is looking at, and your child can see your face.
3. Follow your child’s interest
Reading is more fun for children, when they can look at the pages in the book, the way they want. Very young children might like to just turn the pages. Don’t worry about reading all of the words. The most important thing, at all stages, is to talk about what children are looking at and give them the words that match their interest. Children will enjoy books the most and will learn a great deal if you make comments about what is in the book. (E.g. “We read about pigs in our other book. We learned that they like to roll in the mud.”)
4. Read to your child every day
If reading becomes part of your daily routine, your child will look forward to reading time and it will be a special time for them. Having a conversation about what’s in the book is more important than just reading the words. For preschoolers, aged 3-4 years, it’s also helpful to point out the print on the page. This will help children to understand that those scribbles actually say something.
If English isn’t your first language, you can also share words in your own language, to talk about what’s in the book. Children will enjoy using their home language during reading time. Check with your library to see if they have any books in your first language.
The library has many books for children of all ages and offers regular story times for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, at no cost. Children will learn songs and rhymes and enjoy listening to stories.
5. Read the same books over and over
Children learn language by hearing words and stories repeated often. Remember that even though you may be tired of reading the same book, your child will love it. After many readings of the same book, you’ll notice that your child can fill in the words, if you pause and give him a chance. Children love to think that they can actually read the story. Before you know it, your child will actually know the words and will read them.
The websites below have more ideas for how you can share books with your child: