When it comes to our family’s bookshelves, I’ve decided to ignore advice about decluttering because you can never have too many children’s books around the house. Finding time to read to your kids daily from the time they’re babies is the most important thing; I still read to my 10-year-old every day. But as a literacy specialist, I know that the way you read—your tone, the rise and fall of your pitch, as well as the expression that you incorporate—can matter just as much as the narrative and pictures in a book. Here are three simple strategies that you can use to help your child’s reading interest and level flourish as you cuddle up together.
People often say that practice makes perfect. Research certainly supports this, especially in children. In fact, studies have shown that repetition can be critically important for learning in general—especially for memory and language learning. So while adults can easily pick up new information from a single exposure, when kids ask to watch the same movie they’ve already seen a hundred times or read the same book before bed for the 10th night in a row, it might just be their way of learning the storyline. And although it might be boring or even annoying to do the same thing over and over and over (and over and over) again, this extra practice might be just what children need to learn new things.
Do your kids ever ask for just one more story at bedtime? If your kids are anything like Daniel Buelhoff’s, this is a nightly occurrence. And for Daniel, life gets in the way of being able to read his daughters as many stories as they’d like each night. So he created a new-age storytelling device that his daughters could fall asleep to even when he was away or short on time to read many stories.