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)
- Sing a new song with different words. “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream, Ha, ha I fooled you, I’m a submarine,” or the GREAT BIG spider or Teeny Tiny Spider instead of the Itsy Bitsy Spider.
- Sing a song with a great tempo that you can speed up or slow down such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Start off at a slower pace, then a little faster and the fastest you can sing at the end. It’s a great way to use coordination skills, but also keep a beat and tempo as you sing at a faster pace.
- Have your child make up a song about their favorite place, food or object. See if they can use rhyming or descriptive words to make it more fun. Write it down and have them draw pictures to accompany the song.