Nonna's Favorite Quotes:

Nonna's Favorite Quotes: "The best way to make children good is to make them happy." — Oscar Wilde, author and poet

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reading Really Matters

I am always urging parents to read to their children. When I read articles that say that many children start school having never been read a story, I'm appalled!  Literacy experts point out that these children are at great risk of being left behind at school. Research shows that children who are read to regularly, before they start school, are the children who are most likely to succeed. It appears to be an important predictor in terms of educational success. 

And it doesn't seem to be associated with economics... it's not just children who come from poor backgrounds. Experts agree that this has become a growing trend in our society. Some blame television. Kids are spending too much time in front of the TV and not enough time reading a book. I read an interesting quote from Pie Corbett*. He said, "The TV does the imagining for you – and it doesn't care whether you're listening or not."

(*Note: Pie Corbett is an educational writer and a poet who has written well over two hundred books. He is a well-known teacher, famous for promoting creative approaches in the classroom.)

My son and daughter-in-law are very selective in the programs that my grandchildren watch. There are some fine programs for preschool children on TV these days, but too much of a good thing is not a good thing. 

Parents need to get the message loud and clear... READING REALLY MATTERS!

If you're not doing it now, it's not too late to start. Read books, recite nursery rhymes, read fairy tales. Don't depend on Disney to teach your children.

At "Nonna and Me" we encourage parents to watch our video, listen to our CD, and read our books along with their children and initiate discussion on what they see and hear. The following guidelines and sample questions (taken from Reading To Kids) are designed to help you initiate these discussions and will improve your children's story comprehension.

1. Predicting Outcomes
 
   • Based on the title, what do you think book is about?
   • What do you think will happen next?
 
2. Making Inferences and Grasping Implied Ideas
 
   • What kind of person is the King? Why?
   • What lets us know that the boy is scared?
 
3. Appraising Soundness of Ideas
 
   • What plan did the mice have? Was this a wise, or unwise idea?
   • Can you think of a better way to solve Ted's problem?
   • What would you do if it were you?
 
4. Comparing Similarities and Differences
 
   • How is Sally different from Susan?
   • What are two things that the children have in common?
 
5. Distinguishing Real from Make-Believe
 
   • Could these things really happen?
   • What kinds of things on this page are make-believe?
 
6. Seeing Cause and Effect Relationships
 
   • What caused Bobby to ask that?
   • Because Ellen did that, what happened?

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