The holidays provide an excellent opportunity for parents, teachers, and families to get children excited about reading and learning! Utilizing holiday-themed books can help a child relate what they are reading to their real-life experiences (i.e. trick-or-treating or opening presents). Reading holiday-themed books can also teach children “rare” words that are not used in every-day vocabulary- words such as cauldron, reindeer, or spooky.
Reading is an extremely important component of language development! That is why Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center has teamed up with Read Charlotte to work to improve children’s literacy from birth to third grade.
As a member of one of Read Charlotte’s Action Learning Teams, we are working to double reading proficiency for these children in our community by teaching parents, caregivers, and others the importance of active reading.
Active reading involves reading a book with a child rather than reading a book to a child. By practicing active reading with your child, you can improve her/his language skills, vocabulary, and ability to understand what they read on their own! There are three simple things you can do to begin actively reading with your child.
A- Ask Questions
Ask “Who,” “What,” “When,” “Where,” and “Why” questions that cannot be answered in one word.
B- Build Vocabulary
Build vocabulary by connecting words with pictures, asking your child what words mean, and connecting new words to words they already know(i.e. A bonnet is a type of hat, like the red hat that you wear.).
C- Connect to your child’s world
Connect the book with things that kids already know, prior experiences or what interests them (i.e. Look! Sally is trick-or-treating. Do you remember when you went trick-or-treating last Halloween? What did you dress up as?)
Reading holiday books for a few weeks after the holidays also helps your child better connect the story to their more recent experiences (i.e. Do you remember what kind of candy you got last week during Halloween?)
By following the ABC’s of Active Reading, you can significantly improve your child’s language, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. And it only takes 15 minutes, 3 times a week to make a difference in the life of your child.
So please, take advantage of the upcoming holiday season! Be sure to read Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and/or Winter-themed books with your child. And be sure to keep up with Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center’s blog for more speech-language tips.