What is the best way to read with our family at home? How can we instil a love of learning and of books?
What books should we read, and how should we present these to our children?
Many of us would love to help our children to become good readers, to help them to enter the fantastic world of books and literature. We know what it has to offer, and that good literacy, which is the foundation for success at school and in life, starts in the home, at an early age.
This series of articles (of which this is the first) will introduce us to some of the key areas around storytelling and reading books for our children.
While these quiet moments with our kids are a great way to spend some quiet time together, sometimes the mad dash to find a storybook can take longer than reading the story!
While nothing will replace reading books to children, memorizing stories is a great way to put some spontaneous fun into their bedtime routine.
In addition, having a cache of stories in your memory is a great way to pass the time during long car trips, while stuck in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or any other place or situation which can be boring for young children.
Here, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to memorize stories and be able to recall them at a moment’s notice.
In addition, we’ll give you some ideas for books full of short and easy-to-remember tales that will delight children of all ages.
Choosing bedtime stories and books to read with your kids
With almost 20,000 new children’s books published in the UK every year, it’s no wonder that choosing the right book can be a difficult or overwhelming task.
Faced with shelf upon shelf of bright, shiny titles in the bookshop or library, where do you start?
Perhaps your confidence has been dashed because you bought a book and found that your child just wasn’t interested in it.
Perhaps your child won’t sit still for five minutes to read with you.
Or perhaps you just think that your child doesn’t like reading?
But remember that finding the right book to share will reinforce your child’s love of reading and will also help strengthen the relationship between the two of you, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right.
Remember to adjust your vocabulary to your child’s level of understanding.
Kids will mostly allow you a certain amount of leeway as words fly over their heads’, but if they can discern an entire word they don’t understand, they are more than likely going to bring you up on it.
Back in June, I posted this video about the story that a picture that my daughter had drawn for me.
I would recommend that you check it out before going much further as this re-visit is an update comparing the previous picture and the story it told with the new picture and the story it tells about mine and my daughter’s relationship.
This last weekend Olivia drew several new drawings for me and I chose one that she was very proud of and talked me through at length.
How to get a child to tell you why they were naughty
Children are inevitably naughty at times. My daughter is no exception
Trying to ask her about why she was naughty and does she understand why she’s being told off can be somewhat of a frustrating exercise because she will normally close down, not meeting my eyes and not talking at all.
A friend of mine gave me a great way of helping us get through that self wall:
Make the naughty thing separate from the child and from the present.
Instead of telling her that she’s a naughty girl, tell her that it was a bad thing that happened.
She knows she’s been naughty, so telling her off is pointless. By separating her from the event and by making it in the past “That was… …that happened”, it de-focusses the telling off and allows her to see that I’m not exploding at her or shouting (or worse), but that I want to have an adult conversation about the event.
This then allows her to come out of her protective cocoon (eyes down, being silent and hugging herself) and we can talk about it.
I should also point out that this technique works with all ages and can be a great way of breaking through teenage moods and tantrums.