Shoestring Parenting - Books Offer Cover to Cover Learning

Another Great idea from Miss Kay

I treasure the times that I have spent snuggled on the couch reading to my children. Good picture books can be found for free at your local library or for very little at thrift stores or garage sales. Start a book sharing group with other parents. Whatever it takes get a book in your child's hands and read together.

Here is a wonderful insight from Miss Kay into the value of books for teaching the emerging reader.

It wasn’t until I studied to be a kindergarten teacher that I began to understand why educators stressed so strongly the importance of reading to your preschooler. I only thought of it as a wonderful closeness and bonding time and that they would learn to love books and want to learn to read themselves. I hadn’t thought about the fact that my preschooler was emerging as a reader and that there were many concepts he was learning in preparation for the real thing. Just think of all the seemingly simple but necessary concepts your child can learn as you share this precious time.

1. This is called a book.

2. The book has a front and a back.

3. We start at the front.

4. Each page has a top and a bottom.

5. The pages are in a certain order.

6. The book has a title, author and illustrator.

7. The little marks on the pages are called letters.

8. Each mark has a special name.

9. Each mark has it’s own special sound.

10.The letters go together to make words.

11.There are spaces between the words.

12. We say the words from left to right to tell the story.

13. The pictures help to tell the story.

14. The pictures give us clues to figure out what the words say.

If all this is so, it makes sense that we start with very simple rhyming books with few words that repeat themselves throughout the book. This is so important because the attention span of a preschooler is short and because these concepts can naturally be taught. Point to the words as you read them. As you move along from left to right your child will soon want to try it too. After reading it a few times, your child will remember what each page says by looking at the pictures and remembering the rhymes. Soon, you’ll find him reading the book himself. Of course he has memorized it, but think how he is emerging as a reader. What an accomplishment that is to him. He says “Look, I can read.” and you say “Wow! That is wonderful! How do you feel about that?” You have begun to build his confidence . Continue to follow this pattern. Ask questions as you read. What will happen next? Why is this happening? Where are they going?
What things look the same or different?

The most important thing to remember is that each develops at his or her own unique pace.

HAVE FUN!!!!!! DON’T PUSH!!!!!!! ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miss Kay is a retired kindergarten teacher. Her approach to learning is always creative and hands on.

For more great books and activities visit my StoryTime blog Wondersome StoryTime.

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