15 Tips for Reading with Children

How to make friends with a book? Read together and discuss each book, even if it is for the youngest. We are ready to share 15 tips that will teach you interactive reading. Lauren Grabois Fischer has the perfect collection and all her books teach kids to be proud of who they are. The Be Books is a children’s book publishing company that believes in empowering and educating our youth to live a positive and peaceful life.

There is a fundamental point: it is not enough just to buy books for children. To take advantage of their developmental potential, parents must create an interactive reading experience for their child. Maternity hospitals should issue pamphlets on this topic, complete with diapers, to every woman in labor who goes home with the baby. We spend thousands of dollars on schools, tutors, exam preparation courses, and textbooks without knowing anything about the most effective method of reading — a completely free gift that every parent can give to their child after spending an hour mastering it.

What is interactive reading?

None of the parents should ignore this amazing technique that spurs the intellectual development of the child. To learn more about it, we have read the article “How to Make a Young Child Smarter”. Protsko summed up the most important discovery of this study:

“Interactive reading is not limited to the joint pastime of the child and the parent at the book, its essence is in the dialogue between the child and the book. The goal is to ask the child questions that start with question words (for example, “Why do you think the rabbit took breaks so often?”), to keep the child interested and encourage them to express their thoughts in a detailed way rather than just monosyllabic answers.”

Protsko followed the development of interactive reading techniques, starting with Dr. Grover Whitehurst, a child development specialist who later became Director of the Institute of pedagogical Sciences at the Ministry of education. Whitehurst 25 years ago developed a program called Dialogic reading-a revolutionary method of preparing children from poor families for school.

Back in the past, most experts agreed that reading with children helps adults become smarter. But scientists were in no hurry to support this point of view with reliable facts obtained in the course of research.

This scientific breakthrough was initiated by Whitehurst study of the impact of interactive reading on the development of babies aged 21-35 months. Half of the parents in the sample read to their children in the traditional way — the unidirectional influence of an adult reading aloud on a listening child. This is the kind of reading that most of us grew up on: the parent speaks, the child listens in silence. But parents from the second half of the sample received invaluable lessons in the art of “Dialogic reading” – they mastered methods that allow them to simultaneously read and discuss what they read with their child. In General, these parents used a kind of interactive reading that my book is dedicated to.

After four weeks the little participants of both groups underwent three tests to check for speech capabilities. The results have forever changed the perception of reading with children, both from a scientific and practical point of view. Whitehurst found that children who had a full-fledged interactive reading experience (their parents had just learned some new reading techniques for their babies) were eight and a half months ahead of the children in the control group on the results of the psycholinguistic test and six and a half months ahead of the children in the vocabulary test. And this is only after four weeks of interactive reading!

Moreover, these children maintained a six-month lead in development for almost a year after the end of the study. Whitehurst did not develop a comprehensive educational program for parents or a sophisticated method of mental development for children. His research showed that an hour is enough to teach parents to read children correctly-in interactive mode.

  1.Read together.

Together with your child, get acquainted with a book, computer application, electronic or audiobook — any medium of literary text. Scientists call such activities joint gaming activities. A child should not spend too much time alone fiddling with a digital device. You must play and read together every day.

How to start a conversation: should we read together? Show me how to cook something with this app.

  2.Ask as many questions as possible.

Questions are the basis of interactive reading, and you can ask them even to a child who has not yet learned to speak. Don’t forget to ask your child questions before, during, and after reading.

How to start a conversation: Where did the rabbit go? What color is this flower?

  3.Discuss the details of the book.

Show the illustrations that you like best, name the colors, animals, people, and feelings of the characters represented on each page. At first, the child will not be able to join you, but as they grow older, they will learn from you to turn reading into an interactive process.

How to start a conversation: This car is red. Do you see anything else red? Do you want to count the animals?

  4.Play the story in the faces.

Imitate the sounds of sweeping when you see a broom in the drawing, or pretend that you want to eat the drawn food. So you will help your child to establish a link between concepts and words, and is the cornerstone of interactive reading.

How to start a conversation: Then the caterpillar ate one… And then she saw someone — who?

  5.Help your child identify with the characters in the book.

Start with a discussion of simple emotions. As your child gets older, this ability will improve and you will be able to ask more complex questions.

How to start communication: Squirrel wants to sleep-Pat her on the head. Have you ever felt as much as this baby?

  6.Praise your child while reading.

Encourage the simplest responses, hug them when you’re done reading, and praise them for choosing good books or computer apps.

How to start a conversation: I’m so glad you chose this book. How well you got your bearings on the iPad!

  7.Share your opinions about the book.

If your child likes the story, ask why. If he fidgets while reading an e-book, ask the reason. All this will make your joint reading more fun.

How to start a conversation: did you enjoy reading this book? Why do you want us to read it again?

  8.Read to your child about the things they love.

If your child likes the story about the Panda, ask the library for other books about this animal. Read your child’s favorite books, use computer apps, videos, and Internet resources to help your child learn more about the subject that interests them.

How to start a conversation: Do you want to read more about the Panda bear? Let’s ask the librarian to give us books about pandas.

  9.Stop reading to discuss what you’ve read.

Adults are always in a hurry to get to the end of the book or Appendix to get it over with, but it is absolutely necessary to stop for discussion so that the child understands what they read well and comprehensively.

How to start a conversation: Do you want to pause and take a good look at this mountain? Maybe we should stop and talk about what happened in the book

  10.Make some guesses about the future development of the story.

These questions give the child the feeling that you are telling them a story, and deepen their understanding of what they are reading. Children’s books are the perfect material for this, as they are characterized by simple plots with funny twists. Questions of this kind can be the beginning of a detailed discussion, and the habit of asking them persists for life. I still enjoy this game when I watch movies.

How to start a conversation: Who do you think will win the race? What do you think is hidden in the box?

  11.Keep the conversation going.

After you finish reading or listening to the book app, continue to discuss the story. Look for Parallels in real life and don’t stop asking questions.

How to start communicating: What if we now look at pictures of porcupines? Do you remember what an accordion is?

  12.Expand the boundaries of your child’s knowledge.

Scientists call this technique “developmental learning”, and to use it, sometimes it is enough just to read to a child. After all, he can’t read yet! As often as possible, choose to read books dedicated to new topics for the baby.

How to start a conversation: Do you know why this car didn’t start? Do you want me to tell you how [the heroine] made the soup?

  13.Show your child the world outside of their immediate environment.

For me, growing up in rural Michigan, this has become a vital necessity. Before I saw France, new York, Guatemala, or the Pacific ocean, all these wonders were revealed to me in the pages of books. Don’t forget to choose books about a wide variety of places, cultures, and events to read, and if your child particularly likes something, support and deepen their interest.

How to start a conversation: Do you want to know what Antarctica is? Show you where France is on the map?

  14.Relate the story to a real experience.

Help your child draw an analogy between the events of the book and what interests them in real life. This is how people gain an understanding of the world they live in. The ability to relate the content of a book or computer application to reality is crucial.

How to start a conversation: Have you seen this animal at the zoo? Were you also terribly upset when we left the Park?

  15.Encourage your child to retell their favorite stories.

There is no better way to increase the impact of reading and develop your child’s storytelling skills!

Can you read this book to your little bear? What happened when the baby elephant dropped its ice cream?

You better start with reading books for kids, you may propose your child buying a book he/she likes in the supermarket, in a bookshop or use an opportunity to buy books online due to the Coronavirus situation.


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