There is a member of our family who is not real. He is a word. We call him “Alcapachino”. A running joke between myself, my husband and our bestfriend Sam. “Alcapachino” comes out when I try and say a word, but it either comes out muddled “Alcapachino” or the wrong word with completely wrong meaning, which changes the sentence Something that I have always done, but never really thought about. Until “Alcapachino” arrived. I talk fast, I muddle up words and create new ones.
One of my New Years resolutions this year is to encourage my daughter to enjoy reading books. I am not a reader, I hardly read books and don’t like reading out loud, due to my words getting muddled, or I skip words. This year – my word of the year is “Encourage” and I am encouraging myself to help my daughter want to read books with me. Encourage her to love to read.
So with this in mind, today’s post has been written by Angela from School of Mum. I asked Angela to write a post for me, to help me encourage myself and my daughter to read more. Ultimately, I would love her to read before starting kindy next year, however realistically I know that might not happen. But I am willing to do everything to help encourage her to enjoy reading books with me. Something she hasn’t really wanted to do until recently.
My biggest question to Angela was.. Where do you start? Angela is a Primary School teacher, but is currently a stay at home mum to one cheeky little boy, and as well as a degree in Education, she also hold a Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing, I knew she was the right person to ask! I hope this post will help those out there who have the same question as me (and I hope Angela can forgive me for any grammer/spelling mistakes I have written in these top paragraphs!)
Where do you start? The First Steps to being a Reader
Once your child reaches a certain age, usually when they are in kindergarten and due to start school the year after, you may start to feel the need to ‘teach’ your child to read.
That’s a completely natural response as one of the main things we know about schooling is that it’s where children learn to read! And we always want the best for our children by giving them a head start in education and in their life.
Reading is such a complex process and each child will learn differently and some will make achievements quicker than others. The most important thing is to make reading fun. Please, please, please make it fun! I’ve seen parents (and teachers) mind you, get so frustrated at a child that the poor child becomes red-faced, and disheartened. I know adults’ patience wears thin at times, but I am a firm believer that a child who enjoys reading, will want to keep at it – and that’s the only way that they will eventually become a fluent reader. You have the ability to make it fun for them at an early age.
If you think you would like to encourage your child to do some reading, here are some tips on how:
Go for the pretty colours! Many children are attracted by the visual in books. Choose books that are simple, repetitive and colourful. Stick with the classics! They will love the rhyme and rhythm in Dr. Seuss books, the storyline in The Very Hungry Caterpillar and they will laugh with glee when they hear the story of Mrs Wishy Washy.
Don’t focus on the reading: A pre-reader really just needs to be looking at the pictures, repeating the phrases and having fun! Once you have read a story with them a few times, have them run their fingers under the words and tell you their favourite part of the story. If they do start saying the words that’s great! They may be doing it from memory, but remember, that’s the way nearly all readers learn in the beginning, so offer them plenty of praise for being so clever!
Make it a Daily Ritual: My absolute favourite part of the day is when my little man (14 months old) goes and points to the bookshelf when I say “story time”. He then chooses his books and comes over to the chair we read in. Routine is a wonderful thing. Before you know it, you will both be cherishing that time together and it sets the scene for when your child eventually needs to read their books they bring from school.
The little guy telling me it’s story time
Be an example: Read in front of them. You don’t need to get entrenched in a novel, but if they ask what you’re doing and you’re reading the paper, a magazine or even the shopping list, then explain that to them. Tell them that you are reading the paper so you know what is going on in the world, or reading the shopping list to make sure you don’t forget something. Even telling them you’re reading street signs helps them realise that reading is everywhere!
Be a bit silly: Get into it. It’s ok, nobody can hear you and your child will be delighted. So go ahead; roar like a lion, squeak like a mouse or bark like a dog. Make faces and do the actions. Bring the book you’re reading to life. Your child will thank you for it with big smiles and giggles and is sure to ask you to “read it again!”
Sound it out: Many children recognise whole words before they can sound individual letters, however, a way to encourage them to identify letters and their sounds are to start with only 3-4 letters a time. Asking them to practice too many at once is really overwhelming. Try games of memory and bingo and put the letters they are focussing on around their bedroom.
Above all else, immerse your child in the world of books. It’s a world we don’t seem to enter as often anymore, but it’s the best world to get lost in, have fun in, and fantasise in. The more fun your child has with books and reading, the more likely they are to pick up reading.
What is your favourite book you love to read to your child, or can not wait til they are a little older to read with them.
When I was little my favourite books were by Enid Blyton – The magic faraway tree – wishing I could climb up the big tree and visit Moonface and have Honey Pop Cakes..
Linking up today’s post with Jess from Essentially Jess