There's nothing I love more than seeing my son lost in adventures between the pages of a book, to see him go back to a book, day after day to learn what happens next. It's magical!
Books take us to places we can only dream about, we find new friends in characters that we grow to love. Introducing children to chapter books at an early age can nurture a love of reading and help children on the road to becoming avid readers.
Start at the beginning, start with picture books, lots and lots of picture books. Make reading fun, use various character voices as you read and discuss the pictures on the pages.
Once your child can sit still for 20 minutes of read-aloud time and understand what was read, you can slowly introduce him to read-aloud chapter books. There are many benefits to starting the reading process with read-alouds. Reading aloud to your child helps with listening and comprehension skills, helps build his vocabulary, improves memory skills and teaches life lessons through discussion. While chapter books have many benefits, they should by no means replace picture books; picture books are just as important as they help children master visual literacy.
Once your child has transitioned from beginning readers to more advanced readers, she will more than likely be ready to explore the world of chapter books. A chapter book series is the perfect place to start. As your child finishes one book, she will be eager to read the next book in the series. Be prepared, there will be bumps in the road — your child will encounter times of frustration, be sure not to push too quickly. Allowing your child to read chapter books out loud to you or a sibling will make a world of difference. Again, it's all about making it fun while enjoying books together!
To combat the frustration difficult words bring my sons, we created a game with an ongoing list of new words they learn. Instead of feeling frustrated when coming upon a word they cannot pronounce or do not know the meaning of, they are excited to find a new word to add to our word wall.
Continue to read to your children as they grow. Bedtime read-alouds will become something your children look forward to, a memorable part of their childhood. Take advantage of the precious time you have with your children, enjoy good books, start great discussions and let their imaginations soar.
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