TAMIU Professor Provides Tips
for Encouraging Kids to Read
With blistering temperatures lingering well past the first day of school, books from summer reading lists can still take children and their parents wherever they imagine any day of the year.
Daily reading begets lifelong readers, says TAMIU’s Dr. Barbara Greybeck, associate professor and chair, department of curriculum and instruction.
“It seems as though parents have very few precious moments to simply relax with their children,” Dr. Greybeck observed. She offered some tips parents can use to encourage their children’s reading.
“The best way to enjoy these moments and at the same time improve a child’s reading is to help them develop a love of reading through stories. If you read entertaining children’s stories to your child for 10 – 15 minutes a day, they will associate reading with your warmth, love and attention,” Greybeck advises.
In addition to quality time spent together, discussing stories with children improves their background knowledge and vocabulary, which are important to developing early literacy.
“Reading aloud to children also helps to improve their imagination and attention span and piques their curiosity. We all want our children to succeed with reading. By making it an enjoyable activity, more children will want to begin to explore books and will be better motivated to read in school,” added Greybeck.
As children develop their literacy, they rely on their personal and social experiences to make sense of what they see written on the page.
“That is why it is vitally important that parents expose their children from an early age to the many wonderful sights and sounds surrounding them. In this way, children will develop a solid foundation for language and reading,” Greybeck says.
As an example, Greybeck suggests parents discuss the kinds of fruits they see at a grocery store, what it means to pick a “ripe” fruit, which fruits are tropical fruits, which are fruits from “up north.” Then, when a parent reads a story related to fruit, such as “James and the Giant Peach” or “Johnny Appleseed,” the concept of “fruit” will be elaborated even further. Everyday activities become learning activities that provide children with the necessary experiences to become good readers on their own.
For more tips on reading to children or recommendations on what books to read, go to ncte.org/collections/summerread or reading.org/resources/tools/parent
For more information, please contact Greybeck at 326.2675, e-mail email@example.com or visit offices in Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 431B.
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