21 September 2011

Read Together

It's tempting to give up reading to your kid as soon as he can read independently.  Every minute a parent gets back to herself counts, but did you know that by continuing to read to your child you can greatly increase his vocabulary, reading aptitude, and therefor, increase his test scores later in life? 

Even when your child is reading "chapter books" you should sit down with him and read a book to him. 

I can hear you saying, "what the heck am I supposed to do?  I have three kids.  I can't read to each one of them.  I'll never get time to myself."  What you can do is select a book that is slightly above your younger child's level, but not too 'over his head'.  You will be surprised how much he will pick up from your reading and your oldest won't get bored, even if he says he will. 

In our family, we especially like the Great Illustrated Classics and Classic Starts books.  The stories are timeless and reading them can help our kids on many levels.  They hear words they can add to their vocabularies, they learn stories that they will hear referenced again and again throughout their school years, and they learn lessons from the stories themselves. 

At our house, we are currently reading the Harry Potter Books.  The stories keep the boys' attentions and we are spending time together each night.  All four boys look forward to the next chapter.  Of course we don't read together every night, and sometimes one of the boys has too much homework to listen or one is too tired, but we keep it up because it's great on so many levels and I encourage you to do the same.  You won't be sorry.

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