Article

Reading with your preschool child

All parents want the best for their children. And if you are like most parents, you probably want your child to be a good person and to do well at school. You want your child to be ready to tackle the challenges he will face in life. However, many parents are not fully aware that they have the power to boost the learning potential of their child.

Studies have shown that the sole most reliable predictive factor that can influence your child’s ability to learn and succeed at school is how well she reads.

These studies have demonstrated without a shadow of a doubt that the earlier children learn how to read, the better.

Reading is an extremely complex task that involves specific brain activity as well as emotional connections. Parents are often not aware of the specific advantages of reading with their preschool child and how this will affect their future reading skills.

1- A stronger parent-child relationship. We are often on the go, taking care of our daily tasks. Children are running around, playing and busy with their activities too. Snuggling up with a book allows both parent and child connect and recapture a cuddly time you enjoyed when he was a baby. Reading becomes a nurturing activity that will bring you together.

2- The basics on how to read a book. Children aren’t born knowing how to handle a book, or how to read. Moving from left to right, that symbols and make words, that pictures often show what is being said are some of the invaluable pre-reading skills are learned from reading with young children.

3- Basic speech skills. When children are read to, they acquire critical language and enunciation skills. Preschoolers must be given the opportunity to listen to the language and begin sounding out words on his own.

4- Logical and thinking skills. As children begin to relate the scenarios in books to what happens in her world, their ability to grasp abstract concepts, apply logical thinking skills recognize cause and effect and utilize good judgment increases.

5- The knowledge that reading is fun. When children are awarded pleasurable reading experiences, they view reading as an indulgence, not as a chore.

6- Academic excellence. Last but not least, is the fact that children who are read-to early in life, and children who read often are more likely to excel in all areas of formal education. Reading is the foundation for all learning.

This year at Eden school we have worked hard to ensure that we make this reading journey available to all our students. We have put into place our “Book in a Bag” program with reading materials to suit the needs of every child. Each child is given several books each week so that he may read with a parent as well as at school with his teacher. Parents can easily support their child in this amazing learning journey!

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Parents sometimes feel overwhelmed when they begin reading with their preschooler. Here are some tips that may come in handy:

1- Get comfortable. Find a cozy spot, a quiet corner to relax in with your child

2- Model for your child. Children may feel insecure at first, so you can read the text first, pointing to the words as you go. You may want to try choral reading or take turns (read a page each, for example) before asking your child to attempt reading on her own.

3- Take advantage of the illustrations. The illustrations may help to add comprehension to the text.

4- Give support and encouragement. All efforts and achievements, as small as they may seem, must be congratulated. Encouragement goes a very long way!

5- Talk about the experience. Take the time to comment on how you enjoy reading with your child, that it is your favorite time of the day. Talk about how she felt while reading, about what you learned from the story, the characters or the setting. Relate it to your child’s life or with values you share.

Books open up the world and give us all the opportunity to learn about people and places, develop our imagination and build understanding of the world around us. We encourage you to enjoy the reading experience with your child and, together with the school, give him the tools for an amazing future!