I love books. Walking into the Auckland Public Library downtown is like a trip to Disney Land! You see, we are built for stories. It’s why we like TV, Movies and even Xbox/Playstation Games are now designed around a story as it promotes engagement which means more dollars.
Reading to your child is a great way to bond and build relationship, and did you know you can do it right up into the Middle School years? No, I’m not delusional. Take a strategically selected book, offer the chance to stay up another 20mins or so and you’ll be surprised how eager they become.
Tips for Reading with your child:
Pre-Schoolers: Read to them as often as humanly possible. It builds vocabulary and helps develop their imagination. Picture books are great. You can stop to ask questions about what they see. Does what they see line up with the direction of the story? This builds visual perception and intuition. Make it part of a bedtime routine and do it as when the opportunity presents itself.
Primary Age: You’ll be tempted to ask them to read to you. Yes. They need to do that. They also need a break, they have been working at it all day at school. You can still use picture books. Choose ones that have a bit more text. This helps develop their listening comprehension. Graduate them up to books with few illustrations and more text. This is where their imaginations come out to play. Start to introduce the Classic’s, even the abridged versions. Most Classic stories get your child thinking about situations they wouldn’t encounter in real life, but emotions they would. Keep asking questions, but maybe save them till the end.
Middle School: This is when gets cool. Full family discussions about what will happen, who the baddie really is or is what they did really wrong are great and give insight to your maturing child’s thinking. Find more complex story lines which foster critical thinking right at the time your child is embarking on the road to adulthood. Bring in the Classic’s in full form now.
You can get ideas of books for each stage by googling it, asking your child’s teacher, asking a librarian or PM me and I can give a list of books our family read. Remember- Reading at its best isn’t a dialogue, it’s a conversation.