Lili Vani, Ph.D., OCT. | Nile Academy, Academic Advisor
A child’s success as a reader begins much earlier than the first day of school. Reading, and a love for reading, begins at home. Our parent tips offer easy ways for parents to help kids become successful readers…and writers!
Have a variety of reading material for your child. At Nile Academy, the Scholastic Reading Club offers a wide range of reading content based on age, interests, and genres. The reading selections are updated every month, this allows students to build their own personal library, develop the habit of reading and identify reading preferences that support a love for reading that is lifelong in development.
Schedule regular visits to your local library. Remember to sign out books for yourself as well as your child. Model reading habits/behaviours by reading with your child or on your own in your first language. Materials can include recipes, newspapers, MSN news, mail, virtually anything in print!
Libraries provide more than just print materials and offer many other resources and special events throughout the year. Staff can help you find age-appropriate materials, creative ways to respond to what children read and supporting activities. Special events can include author readings, puppet plays, book themes and access to multimedia that includes e-books, audio books in various languages.
Make reading as important as eating! Set aside a consistent time every evening when your child interacts with print either in text form or in the environment. Read with them, for them and share what you are reading with them.
Discuss the ideas/themes in the texts and help children to make connections to their personal experiences, other stories and the world/events around them. Read a child’s favourite book over and over. Stop and ask about the pictures and what is happening in the story. Discuss new words and make connections to the child’s first language when possible.
Reading is not restricted to “books.” Comics, graphic novels, jokes, newspapers, articles, magazines, texts, emails, anywhere that words exist is a print source for reading and that includes street signs!
Have your child keep a book log in which they record the title, author, brief summary, and book rating. Provide a sticker for every book in their log with a planned trip/experience once they reach an agreed-upon number of stickers.
Talk, talk, talk…write, write, write. Talk about everyday things going on around the house and at school. Ask your child to help you write out a grocery list, a thank you note or email to a family member. Speaking, reading, listening and writing are interconnecting processes that are mutually reinforcing, everyday experiences are a source for authentic uses of language for communication, creative expression and imaginative exploration!
Take control of your child’s screen time. Set a time limit on the use of electronic devices, screen what your child is viewing, and bookmark educational websites that promote learning skills. A few are noted in this blog.