What reading experts say:
Research by Dr. Paul van den Broek from the University of Minnesota concluded that preschoolers' ability to make meaningful connections between events in their lives and stories in books is a strong predictor of later reading comprehension.
Parents can increase comprehension by more actively involving children in the reading experience. Studies have shown that there are significant gains in children's literacy skills when parents and children talk during shared reading times and children have a chance to explain how a story relates to their own lives.
What good readers know:
Good readers make connections between what they are reading and what they already know. ("This book says that monkeys eat bananas. But monkeys eat leaves too, because I saw them eating leaves when we went to the zoo.") Good readers also enjoy discussing how a character is similar to or different from them and how they would react to a situation faced by a character in the book ("What would I do if our dog started talking one day like Martha in Martha Speaks
What parents can do to help children Grow Up Reading™:
Use the calendar as a number line for simple subtraction problems. For example, start with May 10. Ask "What date is two days before May 10?" Count down two days. Write the subtraction problem: 10 - 2 = 8.
Go to the Library and check out at least three music CDs. Try jazz, Latin or orchestral music especially for children. Pick up a copy of the Library booklet, "Nursery Rhymes, Songs and Fingerplays."
Make up a song or tune that includes your address and phone number. Sing it together so your child can learn both.
Read five books from the "Singing" booklist.
More Great Books to Read(click on a title to check for availability at the Library)
- Play a game of "echo me" by clapping, stomping or making other percussion noises and have your child repeat the pattern. Vary the patterns with different tempos and sounds.
- Clap out rhythms of songs your child knows and see if your child can recognize the song. Now sing the song together while clapping out the rhythm at the same time.
- Have a dance party with favorite tunes. This helps develop motor skills and a sense of the rhythm of language.
- Try a new type of music you might not always listen too. Allow your child to use instruments to predict the beat, rhythm and tempo of the song.