Read Together With Your Baby
Imagine sitting your baby in your lap and reading a book to him for the first time. How different from just talking! Now you're showing him pictures. You point to them.
In a lively way, you explain what the pictures are. You've just helped your child take the next step beyond talking. You've shown him that words and pictures connect. And you've started him on his way to understanding and enjoying books.
While your child is still a baby, reading aloud to him should become part your daily routine. Pick a quiet time, such as just before you put him to bed. This will give him a chance to rest between play and sleep. If you can, read with him in your lap or snuggled next to you so that he feels close and safe.
As he gets older, he may need to move around some as you read to him. If he gets tired or restless, stop reading. Make reading aloud a quiet and comfortable time that your child looks forward to. Chances are very good that he will like reading all the more because of it.
Try to spend at least 30 minutes each day reading to and with your child. At first, read for no more than a few minutes at a time, several times a day. As your child grows older, you should be able to tell if he wants you to read for longer periods. Don't be discouraged if you have to skip a day or don't always keep to your schedule. Just get back to your daily routine as soon as you can. Most of all, make sure that reading stays fun for both of you!
Reading books with their children is one of the most important things that parents can do to help their children become readers.
What Does It Mean?
From the earliest days, talk with your child about what you are reading. You might point to pictures and name what is in them. When he is ready, have him do the same. Ask him, for example, if he can find the little mouse in the picture, or do whatever is fun and right for the book. Later on, as you read stories, read slowly and stop now and then to think aloud about what you've read. From the time your child is able to talk, ask him such questions about the story as, "What do you think will happen next?" or "Do you know what a palace is?" Answer his questions and, if you think he doesn't understand
Don't worry if you occasionally break the flow of a story to make clear something that is important. However, don't stop so often that the child loses track of what is happening in the story.