March is designated as National Reading Month! Let’s take this time to make reading a priority!
Many of us are familiar with the research revealing how important it is to read with children every day. And most of us have every intention of doing that. Daily life, with all its tasks and distractions often gets in the way of realizing our best intentions. Therefore, purposefully, scheduling time to read with your child is one of the most valuable things you can do as a parent. There are many reasons why reading with your child is so critical:
- Your child gets your undivided attention and closeness.
- It encourages your child to experience the joy of reading. Children who love to read not only do better in school, but also become lifelong learners.
- It helps to develop your child’s language and literacy skills.
Let’s explore how reading with your child helps to develop their vocabulary. A large oral vocabulary is the foundation of ongoing language and literacy development. Reading books aloud exposes your child to all kinds of words.
Here are some tips for how to promote vocabulary development while reading with your child:
- Read with lots of expression.
- Add your own comments and thoughts as you read to help your infant connect with the story.
- Use exciting words to describe what you see in the pictures. For example, use words like “gigantic” instead of “big.”
- Point to pictures and ask your child to describe what is happening.
- Show your child the front of the book and ask what they think the book may be about.
- Use new words that help to extend vocabulary, such as, “He looks frustrated. Why do you think he is frustrated?”
- Give your child the opportunity to express what they feel and think about the story.
- Ask your child open-ended questions about the story, pointing out spicy words or words that are unfamiliar.
- Point out interesting words and invite your child to use context to figure out the meaning.
- Highlight words that have multiple meanings.