Books are an essential building block to growing each child’s language, reading and writing skills. How can you make the most of the time you spend reading with your child? Whether you’re a parent, family member, friend, or mentor in a child’s life you can expand their language skills every day just by increasing interaction in various ways while reading a book. This is not something you need to add into your busy schedule, all you need to do is take advantage of the time you already use every day reading with your child. A resource from “Talking is Teaching” demonstrates simple ways to expand language beyond the words on the page.
A helpful way to remember the 4 simple steps to make the most out of reading time is “Follow the CAR.”
As you implement this strategy more it will become second nature during all of your reading time with your child. Other ways to expand language during reading include:
What if your child doesn’t want to engage in any reading? Some children may not want to read books, but it is important to still expose them to it. You can start by just flipping through the pages of a book very quickly, say a short sentence about what happened, and then say to the child “You did it! You read a book!” This will let them feel like they accomplished the task and over time increase their motivation to read books. Another way to follow the child’s lead is to offer two book options and let them choose which one they want to read. This will lead to a more positive reading experience and better chance they will want to pick up a book again.
By: Emily Dyer, Speech Therapy Student