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For Parents

Reading to Children

All parents want their children to be happy, healthy and successful. Success in school and later in life begins at home with reading. Reading aloud to your child is one of the most enjoyable and important things you can do. Share your thoughts and use your imaginations as you enjoy some great stories together.

Try to pick a regular time and place to read with your children. Bedtime is great, but be open to other special times throughout the day to share a story with your child. A regular reading time gives children something to look forward to and tells them that you value this special time to spend it with them every day.

When Reading to your Child

Introduce the children's book. Show your child the book cover and read the title, and the names of the author and illustrator. Ask them what they think the book might be about.

Talk to your child about the pictures as you read the book. Ask your child, "What do you think will happen next?"

Use body language. Emphasize certain words, imitate events, and represent the character's feelings with facial expressions and body movements.

Encourage your child to become involved in the story while you're reading. They should also feel free to ask questions, point things out, and guess what might happen next.

Selecting Books for Kids

Select books that build self-esteem and offer positive role models.

Expose your children to a variety of books, including poetry, different styles of illustration, stories about other cultures, life-styles and countries. Your children will discover the world through books.

Books can help you discuss important events in your child's life – a new baby in the family, the loss of a pet or starting school. Books can also help children to understand their feelings, such as being angry with a brother or sister or feeling afraid to go to the doctor.

There are thousands of children's books available through your library and local bookseller. Your local children's librarian will be able to direct you to some wonderful classical, traditional, and contemporary titles. Reading Rainbow is also an excellent program, recommending and exploring children's books daily.


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