Did you know that March is National Reading Month?
Let’s March into Reading!
National Reading Month provides opportunities to explore reading in whole new ways aimed at motivating students to read while having a bit of fun in the process. It is important to celebrate National Reading Month, and we challenge you to spend some time reading with a child…even if your child can’t read yet. It’s never too early to start!
Here is our Montessori approach to help you grow a love for reading…
- Begin reading to your child at birth.
- Let your baby play with the book.
- If the baby sometimes doesn’t seem interested, put the book away and try again another time. Raising a reader takes time and patience.
- Be animated. Use different voices and facial expressions as you read. Make it fun!
- Choose books that use word repetition, rhymes, and predictable text.
- Decide on a regular time to read each day; even five or ten minutes gets children ready to read on their own.
- Before reading the book together, have your child take a “picture walk” through the book and make predictions about the story.
- Let your child turn the pages and point to words as you read.
- Encourage a love of words by playing rhyming and word games, singing silly songs, or writing stories together.
- Choose books that support your child’s interests, from dinosaurs to wizards.
- Reread your child’s favorite books whenever asked. After several retellings, ask your child to tell you the story.
- Involve your child in the reading by asking questions! Ask “what” questions; avoid questions that require a simple “yes” or “no” answer. You might ask, “What do you think will happen next?”
- Remember to give your child time to think about the question and respond.
- Take your child to the library to check out books and attend story hours.
- If your child shows an interest in a picture either by talking about it or pointing to it, follow up immediately by asking questions and letting your child answer.
- Most important, have fun reading to your child!
Reading is one thing you can do with your kids that has been proven to not only make them more emotionally intelligent and kind; it also makes them more likely to succeed in school and career.
Model the Joy of Reading
If you want to create kids who are readers, they need to see you read. When we read on smartphones and tablets, children don’t always connect this to reading. Let your children see you reading a book! Find ways to incorporate books into the family time that you spend together: Have time where you are reading silently and aloud together. Read the same book as your child so that you can discuss it. Look around at your local attractions, historical events, and museums, and hoose a book that relates to one of these to take a family trip to visit. This allows kids to see first-hand the connection between books and the world around them.
Know Your Child’s Reading Level and then Let Them Select Their Own Books
If reading is too challenging and a constant struggle, children do not like to read. This is why finding your child’s reading level is so important. Encourage your child to keep a list of questions they have about things they are learning and the world around them, and then help them find reading material on these topics. This teaches them that reading is a way to find information and sets them up to be able to learn on their own in the future.
Read With Your Children Not Just to Them
Sometimes we get into a routine of reading for a certain amount of time each night before bed and simply read the words of a book aloud to our children. Instead, try to involve and engage children in reading. During reading, stop to discuss what is going on and ask them questions to assess their understanding. Discuss what the characters’ actions and words mean about how they are thinking and feeling. Ask them to put themselves in the place of the characters; what would they do? Encourage them to imagine what they are reading as if it were a movie in their head. Making reading something you do with your child as a way for them to explore and answer questions they have about the world will help them to understand the purpose and application of reading to their life.
- Begin by having the baby sit on your lap, your arms around them. This full body contact promotes the positive emotional aspect and bonding of reading aloud.
- Around 6 months of age, babies become less passive and more interested in mouthing or teething on the book. Offer a small teething toy to keep them occupied during your reading sessions.
- Around 8 months of age, babies become more active and enjoy turning the pages. Encourage children to do so when it is time. This helps develop active listening skills as they begin to anticipate the end of the page.
- Around 12 months of age, babies are able to listen and point to objects on the page. They also begin to make animal noises (moo, oink, baa) on cue.
- By the time they start walking, babies are constantly on the go. Choose your reading times wisely, perhaps before a nap, and enjoy snuggling up to this now quiet wonder.
- Begin with picture books, with relatively few sentences per page. Then, gradually add books with more text as your child matures.
Set up the perfect Montessori book nook! Do you have a special reading spot in your home?
- Create an inviting space: a comfortable, well-lit and accessible place to read will help you and your child look forward to your daily reading times. Use natural materials.
- Low shelves or baskets at the child’s level
- Keep it simple, don’t overwhelm or over complicate the space
- Choose age-appropriate books
- Keep a mix of fiction and non-fiction books.
- Go with a theme: consider having a few seasonal or holiday books on the shelf
Check out these lists of some of the best Montessori books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Click the images below to get started!
From our own EDEN PRAIRIE MONTESSORI Blog!
Reading Aloud to Children: The Montessori Way
From HOW WE MONTESSORI-
Help me to grow a love of reading! – A Montessori approach.
A Montessori teacher and parent wrote this article about how to help your child develop a love of reading. These 10 tips are fantastic and a good reminder to all parents…
From THE KAVANAUGH REPORT-
This post features 3 Steps to Create a Montessori Inspired Reading Area of your own. Just as we prepare our home for other independent activity — dressing, eating, working — it’s also important to prepare the environment for reading…
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