Saturday, May 18, 2013

AND YOU CAN'T PUT A PRICE ON THAT



                                              



If you're a parent, providing your children with the opportunity for a happy and modestly prosperous future is a common goal.  In addition to giving love and attention, being a good role model and a enforcing reasonable rules, helping your children to do as  well in school  as they are able is part of the means to that end.

I'm going to stick my neck out and postulate that regular readers are better students, and you can't put a price on that.  By readers I mean children who choose to read, who read for pleasure and who read regularly.  Readers are better at spelling, grammar, comprehension, inferential understanding, writing, oral speaking and debating not to mention a host of incidental knowledge that is picked up by osmosis.

There are many distractions for children today and more than a few didn't exist a generation ago.   It probably takes more effort to make your children into readers.   But, it's worth it!

Here are some tips:

1.   Personal choice.   Let children choose from a large selection (you probably will need to provide some slight oversight to keep the wildly inappropriate off their radar) and let them pick the book themselves.  I read comics, Nancy Drew, Hardy boys--I even read the backs of cereal boxes.

2.   The selection should be books/text at the child's reading level.   That means about ninety-eight percent accuracy.  Ask your child's teacher about their reading level.   If the average page in a chapter book has 100 words, then not more than 2 words that need to be sounded out or are otherwise difficult.

3.  Have your child talk to peers, siblings or to you about what they have read.  Not just recalling or retelling but analysis, comment and comparison.  Why did the character do that, how does that character compare to the character in a similar book, recently read, would you do what the character did in their place.  You get the idea.

4.  Children should listen to a fluent adult read aloud.   Pick a book a couple or more reading levels higher than the child's.    This helps increase the child's vocabulary and comprehension, sense of story, awareness of genre and
text structure.   Plus it's a rewarding thing to do with your child.

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