Encouraging Parents to Read with their Children
March 07, 2012
I am a retired 5th-grade teacher, and I loved encouraging my students’ parents to read with their children instead of just saying “go read.” My almost-unanimous response over the years to this “assignment” to parents was positive, and they learned that even with older children, there is enjoyment in sharing literature.
I ask them to try different things as they share a book:
- Have the child read a paragraph, and then you read a paragraph.
- One of you reads the dialog, while the other reads the narrative.
- Formulate predictions for the child. E.g., “Do you think he really stole the bike?” “Will they make it through the mountains before it snows?”
- It’s also fun to read in voices, and children love this. Use a granny voice, a gruff voice, etc. (We all did this when they were listening to picture books, didn’t we?)
- And last, if there is a word they think the child might not know, it is fun to stop and explore a little, like “what do you think ‘lurch’ means? Here’s what I think it might mean.” Not that you should look up all new vocabulary and drag the reading down, but some words seem very much more important to the text, and trying to get “meaning through use” is an excellent habit to model.
Above all, bask in the pleasure of shared reading!