By Leslie Hundt, Curriculum Specialist at Ebenezer’s Southside Milwaukee Center
At Ebenezer, we read to all children daily and encourage children to choose and read books on their own. Although young children cannot read the printed word yet, they enjoy looking at and reading books with adults and alone. At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on the page. Children learn to love the sound of reading before they notice the printed words. Reading books to children in any language stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills. When the rhythm of reading becomes part of a child’s life, learning to read will be as natural as learning to walk and talk.
You can be a reading role model for your child through your own actions. When your child sees you reading he or she will understand the importance of reading and will want to read, too. Reading to your child on a regular basis is the best way to encourage a child to read.
Here are some tips to make the most of reading with your child:
- Make reading a fun activity.
- Eliminate distractions such as television, computer and phones.
- Establish a regular reading time.
- Invite your child to select their own books.
- Allow your child to hold the book, see the illustrations, and turn the pages at their own pace (which may be faster than yours).