It is important to make reading aloud to your child part of your daily routine. Set aside a regular time every day, find a comfortable place without any distractions, and choose something interesting to read together.
Things to do before reading
· Encourage your child to select the book from a pile of well-known titles.
· Familiarize yourself with the book as this will make you a better storyteller. Take time to look over the book before you share it with your child.
· Settle your child down and talk a little about the book. For example, you might say, “This story looks as if it’s going to be funny.”
· Browse through the book so your child becomes familiar with books and how they are handled, for example, holding the book the right way, turning the pages.
Things to do when reading
· Read clearly. Make the story interesting by exaggerating expressions for different character voices and sounds. The more dramatic the better. You may want to add simple props so your child can identify with different characters or act out parts of the story.
· Hold the book so your child can see the pictures and writing.
· Sometimes, let your child hold the book and turn the pages.
· Draw attention to the pictures.
· Sometimes, point to the words as you read.
· Ask and answer questions as needed.
· Encourage your child to join in and read too. Invite your child to describe pictures, “read” pages, or join in with words that are repeated.
· Accept and praise your child’s attempts to read.
Things to do after reading
· Talk about the characters and events in the book.
· Help your child tell the story from the pictures.
Keep in mind that your child’s reading level and listening level are different. When you read easy books, your child will soon be joining in with you. When you read more advanced books, you instil a love of stories and build the motivation that encourages children to become lifelong readers.