Saturday, December 18, 2010

Reading At Grade Level

"Children must be able to read by third grade," Governor Mitch Daniel says. In a speech given earlier this year by our governor, he felt that a child who couldn't read at grade level should be held back a year and given additional help. Here's how YOU, the child's parent, can help prevent that from happening. You must start early in your child's life. In fact, your child started learning the moment he or she was born. By talking, playing with, and caring for your baby each day, you are helping your baby develop language skills necessary to becoming a reader. When you read to your baby, you are fostering a love of books and reading. Following are some tips:

Snuggle up with a book. When you hold your baby close and read a book, your baby will enjoy the snuggling and hearing your voice, as well as the story. Feeling safe and secure with you wile looking at a book builds your baby's confidence and love of reading.

Choose baby-friend books. Books with bright and bold or high-contrast illustrations are easier for young babies to see. Board books with sturdy cardboard pages are easier for baby to handle.

Keep books where your baby can reach them. Make sure books are as easy to reach, hold and look at as toys. Remember, a baby will do with a book what he does with everything else - put it in his mouth. And that's exactly what he's supposed to do. You may only want to put chewable books within reach.

Talk with your baby - all day long. Describe the weather or which apples you are choosing at the grocery. Talk about the pictures in a book or things you see on a walk.

Ask questions. Then wait for an answer. By listening, your child learns words, idea and how language works.

Sing, Read, Repeat. Read favorite stories and sing favorite songs over and over again. Repeated fun with books will strengthen language development and positive feelings about reading. Develop a daily routine (and make reading part of it). Routines can soothe a baby, and let a baby learn to predict what will happen next. The ability to predict is important when your child is older and is reading independently.

Give baby a hand. Encourage your baby to pick up crackers or peas, touch noses and toes, point to pictures and grab toys. The muscles in those little hands will grow strong, agile, and ready to turn pages.

Encourage our baby's coos, growls, and gurgles. They are the baby's way of communicating with you, and are important first steps toward speech. Encourage attempts to mimic you. The more your baby practices making sounds, the clearer they will become. Go ahead and moo, growl and honk!

posted by:
Cara Retz, Team Leader
Discovery Toys

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