There is a home reading program at my daughter’s school. I think that this is an excellent idea. I look forward to listening to her read, and watching how she is improving over time.
But some nights we have problems. If she is really tired, she will act silly, make up words, rush through the reading…I can imagine that all parents go through this, especially those who have reluctant readers.
That is why one of my favourite book series is called “We both read”. The reading strategy is simple: the parent reads one page and the child reads the next. The child’s page is simpler than the adult’s.
There are many advantages to this series. The books are not as boring as some of the beginning reading books out there; because they are meant to be easier, those books can be dry. As well, the harder words are bolded, so that the parent can emphasize these words and the child will be able to read them on the next page. This series also provides an important additional benefit: it shows you reading. Children learn best through modelling. If they see you read, they will read too.
I find the non fiction titles to be slightly harder than the fiction titles of the same level. This may be because it is necessary to have more difficult vocabulary in a non fiction book. Non fiction titles in this series are often written about unique topics, such as “Animals under our Feet”.
The fiction books are very engaging and many of them are laugh out loud funny. They are ideal to entertain children who have many other distractions in their lives, and especially if they are a reluctant reader. One of my favourites is “The Mouse in my House”.
Whether your child loves non fiction or fiction, they are sure to find something to suit their taste in the “We both read” series.
Why not make it a new year’s resolution to read more to your child?
An additional note:
These days many parents have so many demands on them that reading to their child may be the last thing on their minds. But don’t be discouraged! An OECD study found that you don’t need hours of time to make a difference in your child’s education. This study discovered that one of the two activities that was most strongly related to better student performance at age 15 was reading to children when they were just beginning primary school. But the best news for stressed parents is that the amount of time spent reading to your child is not as important as the fact that you are making an effort to do so, even if it is not every day.