Making the Most of Reading to or with Your Children: Part 3--Grades K Through Three

It's not always easy to introduce or maintain time for reading in a growing child's schedule, but it can be done, and it can be done with enjoyment and success. Tips for reading with children in kindergarten through the third grade are included in this installment of the Making the Most of Reading to or with Your Children article series.

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Kindergarten can be a challenging time for young students because of the schedules that are imposed upon them. For children who are just learning to manage their time and their new responsibilities, it's extra important to make time, as a parent, to remain connected on an educational, social, and loving basis. Reading together can help you manage this task.

Choose Their Favorites

Continue to keep your child's preferences in mind so that you can keep your home stocked with reading material that they'll be excited to pick up.

Read Together

Even if your child can read by themselves, keep reading with them to help them through tougher spots, and ask them questions about what they've just read. The National Education Association (NEA),, suggests talking with your child about the stories they read using the notions of the 'beginning, middle, and end of the story' to organize your child's thoughts and discussion skills. Comprehending the story as it unfolds is just as important as recognizing the words on the pages.

Make Reading Fun

Don't try to be your child's teacher when it comes to reading; instead, act as your child's friend, making reading at home a fun and enjoyable experience. According to the National Education Association, you should avoid using teaching phrases like 'sound-it-out,' and you shouldn't attempt to correct reading errors that don't affect the meaning of the story. Use praise when your child reads a tough word correctly as encouragement. Constantly correcting minor errors can frustrate and discourage your child.

Expand Your Reading Horizons

The NEA suggests not limiting reading to just storybooks. Encourage your child to read to you from their schoolbooks, and listen attentively to passages that they find interesting. Incorporating reading into everyday activities or projects encourages your student to view reading as something that is as essential as it is fun. Read recipes, instructions, or even street signs and maps together.

Visit the Library

Use the library as a resource to build on your child's current interests and to develop new ones. Your child will appreciate the responsibility of having a library card and having the ability to make choices for him or herself. Your child can choose what they want to read, and you can encourage them to try reading books based on new interests or material that is more challenging.

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