Are you worried that your child isn’t being exposed to good writing? We know that exposing you child to good writers reflects in their own work, and there are 5 easy ways to ensure your child receives the exposure he or she needs.
It’s happening again. It’s the end of the day and your child is asking you for a bedtime story. If you have to look at another picture book you might scream, but as it is you smile instead and open Corduroy for the fiftieth time.
Tediousness aside, its important to read to your children even when they’re able to read for themselves. Bernice Cullinan and Brod Bagert from Reading is Fundamental and also in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education assert that by “reading stories that are on their interest level, but beyond their reading level, you can stretch young readers' understanding and motivate them to improve their skills.”
So we know this is crucial for developing their listening and language skills, alongside fostering in them an ability to understand the written word. Children need to be exposed to good writing, whether they can read it independently or not. But your routine doesn’t have to get stuck within picture books and other materials that can be mind numbing. Look to this list for inspiration:
- Read Aloud
Do this often and with as much material as you can. Read poetry after homework is done, read snippets of a more complicated chapter book and ditch the storybook altogether at bedtime. If you’re sitting at breakfast catching up on the news, read appropriate stories to your children out loud as they finish their meals too. In this way they are developing awareness for the world and also getting used to the kind of language that informational texts expose them to before they even learn it in school.
- Join a Library
Quick and efficient way to get a hold of as many books as you can for your child without having to pay for them. In this way you can guarantee you have a steady stream of incoming books, and if the child doesn’t appreciate the book he or she chose, it can simply be returned and exchanged for another. Try to hit up the library at least twice a month, this way when children are asked to write reports and look up information they will already understand how to find resources and be familiar with the space. Libraries also often provide many children’s programming so it’s helpful to know the upcoming schedule especially with the cold weather forcing most of us indoors.
- Join a Book of the Month Club
These kinds of clubs are exciting because they offer a variety of choices for a variety of readers. Signing up is easy and relatively cheap online. Simply plug in all of your information and wait as your packages are delivered to your door by both bestselling authors and new writers on the scene. Showing your child what a treat it is to get a new book each month makes the experience fun and exciting. They often want to be the first ones to open the box and as well as count down to when the next package arrives.
- Create a Reward System
Sometimes children get caught up in reading the same series over and over again—especially when there are over twenty books to the series. Break the cycle! While series like the Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones are great sources of reading and fun for kids, don’t be afraid to encourage them to explore other authors. Set up a reward system. For every three new writers your child brings home, they can receive a token to cash in for a prize at a later date. Make it fun! Make them get creative while also adding your own recommendations.
- Attend Book Signings
Find out where and when your favorite writers are touring, or even your child’s favorite writer. Its one thing to read your favorite book over and over again, its another thing entirely to meet the person responsible for writing those words. Form an instant connection between your child’s favorite book and the author, then watch as their questions burst out uncontrollably discussing the text mimicking--the way they’re supposed to talk about literature in school. Guaranteed they’ll tell their friends all about that time they met that woman who wrote The Tale of Despereaux
Sources: Cullinan, Bernice, and Brod Bagert. "Reading Is Fundamental." Reading Is
Fundamental | Reading with Your Child. U.S. Department of Education,
n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <http://www.rif.org/books-activities/tips-resources/reading-with-your-child/>.