I’m all ears when I hear an adult explaining how a little one can’t really read but thinks he can. “He just knows the story,” the adult says. And I say, “Yay! Yay! Yay!” This adult has done one of the most important jobs a parent does . . . reading the same book again and again until the child knows the story.
Book selection is another key ingredient. Your toddler will be especially eager to help you “say” a book’s repetitive lines. As she learns the story, one word at a time, she’ll want to use her memory to help you read the book. Stop before the last word of a line to encourage her to say that word. Boost her interest and her confidence by talking about how she has read that word!
You’ll do that same kind of confidence-boosting with your always-listening infant. Just stop a second before going on to say, “Yes! That’s right! That next word is (say the word)! Good reading!”
Though it’s important to avoid showing any expectation that your infant or toddler should read any word, it’s helpful to move your finger beneath a word you’re saying. This helps your child begin to understand that the printed word––those marks on the page––means the same thing as the word you and she say when you read that story.
Happy reading-teacher-parenting to you!
Copyright © 2015 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz