The Importance Of Reading To Your Children For Early Literacy

Early literacy can begin at preschool level. The most important thing you can do for your child is read out loud to them every day.

According to the Department of Education, the size of a child's vocabulary is a strong predictor of reading and success in school. The vocabulary level of an average children's picture book is greater than found on prime time television. This is one of the many reasons it is so important to read out loud with your child every day.

It is helpful to look at your child's development and see how this effects the types of books you select for your child. These are only guidelines, and your own child has his own personality and rate of development.

TWOS: 24-36 MONTHS

1) If your child was not talking much before now, she will probably start this year. Reading helps give her lots of words.

2) Older toddlers enjoy stories with repetition, so they can anticipate and follow along.

3) Simple concept books can be introduced, such as books about colors, shapes, or counting.

4) Two year olds are developing very specific likes and dislikes. Keep this in mind and let your child pick out books to hear.



5) This is the year children often make the transition between sturdy board books to paper picture books. Begin to set some limits on how books are treated, butxpect your child to forget these rules.

PRESCHOOL: 3-4 YEARS

1) Most public libraries have a preschool story time. See about enrolling your child.

2) If your child watches television and videos, limit the amount of time and choose programs carefully.

3) Animal stories and other stories with a simple plot are popular with this age group. Silliness and exaggerated humor can be appreciated.

4) Illustrations are still a focal point, so choose books with lots of pictures.

5) Preschoolers can relate what they read to their world. Try a book about FARM animals after a trip to the fair, holiday books, or read about fire engines after you see one on the street.

PRESCHOOL: 4-5 YEARS

1) Pre-kindergarten children are ready for longer stories with fewer pictures.

2) Your child may become interested in the actual words on the page, and pretend to "read." Follow with your finger as you read, pointing to words as you say them. This teaches that we read from left to right and helps show the connection between print and language.

3) Your will still enjoy rhyming text and repetition.

4) Some children are learning to recognize their letters or even write their names.

When your child enters school and begins to read on his own, that does not mean you should quit reading aloud. Keep feeding your child stories and language. Set aside twenty minutes a day for reading together. The results will be seen in the years to come.

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