Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Kindergarten Ready: 1. Reading

My baby is less then a year from starting Kindergarten and that pretty scary!  I feel like I'm getting old but also it's really sad how fast the time goes.  I've been really reflecting lately on what things I can do as a mom to prepare her for school.  I'm going to several posts each one a different idea.
The first one is Reading.

Of all the things my older kids have needed in their tool belt that I feel has helped or hindered them the most is their ability to read.  Each child is different in how fast they have caught on to reading.  I see it with my preschoolers everyday.  Some have a knack for it and catch on really quick.  Others are slower to understand.  Regardless of how fast they catch if they capture the love of reading then you have it made!  Here's some ideas:

1.  Read to them everyday.  Start when they are babies.  Make it part of their routine.  I like to read at nap time, bedtime, read scriptures as a family in the morning.  So reading is just part of their regular day.  My four year old is now reading me one book a day and then I read her one book a day.  We have started the I see sam series.  It is very simple and helps early readers be successful quickly.  With my preschool I use the "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" by Engelmann.  A very comprehensive reading approach that I also really like.  
2.  Have many books at home   These don't have to be books you buy they can be library books. It can be the newspaper, or magazines.   Just having reading material around to use will foster a love of reading.
3.  Read yourself.  If you take the time to read a good book then your children will more likely also want to experience this joy.  As a busy mom, I know how hard it is to find time to read.  I like to have a few books I'm reading at the same time.  It drives my husband crazy sometimes.  =)  But I will put one in the bathroom, one by my bed, I like take one in the car when I'm waiting for the kids to come out from school.  If the books are around they are more likely to be read.
4.  Read together as a family.  When we travel in the summer we like to find a good book to read together in the car.  I would like to say we do that year round but we don't and I think that would be awesome.  We have started the "Lion Witch and the Wardrobe" series by CS Lewis.  
5.  Have your older kids read the books before the movie program.  We made a deal with the kids that if there was a movie they wanted to watch and it was based on a book, they had to read the book first before they watched the movie.  This has been a really great motivator.   We have limits on ratings because there are some that are rated PG-13 that we don't want them to see.  
6.  Scripture Reading.  Our first grader has improved so much this year on reading and I believe a lot has to do with family scripture study.  She reads one verse a day and she is sounding out some big words and it's been fun to see her confidence grow.  To help everyone following a long.  After everyone has read one or two verses we alternate by only reading to a punctuation mark.  Sometimes you only get to read one word and then it passes on to the next person.  Everyone has to pay attention or you get lost and it's your turn.  It's a lot of fun and it helps to keep the focus.  

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