Reading books with your child is proven to have many benefits. There are benefits to reading with children all the way up until eighth grade. It is wonderful to just pick a book, cuddle up, and read it together. But, there are many ways to extend that experience and easily support the learning being done in school. Here are ten easy ideas:
- Preview the book. Talk about the title, the author, and anything located on the back of the book. Explain the terms and why they are located on the book.
- Page through the book and read chapter headings (if relevant) and look at pictures.
- Predict what will happen in the book.
- Pause while reading to discuss the characters.
- Use basic vocabulary like character, plot, setting, and theme.
- Compare the characters with characters from other books that you have read together.
- Find contrasts to discuss. Students often enjoy contrasting the setting with their own home.
- Discuss the ending. If you were the author, would you choose a different ending? Why or why not?
- Extend by reading other books by the same author, researching the author, reading other books with a similar setting, or other books with a similar theme.
- Follow up later in the day and try to connect something from the story with your own life.
Of course, don’t forget that the most important thing is reading, and talking, with your child. These ideas are optional extensions but absolutely not necessary. Enjoy your reading.