2. At what age should we begin to read to children?
Parents should read to children from birth! Reading to newborns is a must according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The years from birth through age four are critical for brain development – the brain is 90% developed by the time a child turns four. Reading aloud to babies stimulates developing senses, and builds listening and memory skills that can help babies grow up to be readers. However, it is never too late to begin reading to children.
Look for books with beautiful illustrations. The illustrations should enhance the story – telling more than the words.
Read the first few pages to get a sense of the language. It should flow naturally.
Think about what messages you want your children to hear. Select books that support self-esteem; promote connectedness to others, reflect on history and experiences, and promote understanding and respect for others.
9. Is it okay to read the same book over and over?
Yes, young children love repetition. Repeat readings help children master story lines, language and ideas in a story and to understand rhythm and poetry in familiar narratives. The best books are ones that make children say, “Read it again.” The ideal combination of books is: one favorite, one familar, one new.
10. How do I read to my children if I don’t speak English?
Tell a story from the pictures in a book.
Read a book in your native language.
Read a bilingual book.
Have siblings or a relative read.
Play an audio recording of an English language book so that you can learn together. Read to your child in English as a way to practice your language skills too. Click here for read-aloud clips. (link to storytime)