A Love of Daily Reading at Home
One of the greatest gifts a parent can give their child is a love of reading. Children learn by example. When parents show an interest in reading, their children are bound to do the same. Here are some helpful hints to build a 'reading-friendly' environment that will make learning everyday reading fun.
Creating a 'Reading-Friendly' Environment at Home
- Store your child's books within his or her reach. Create a special place in your home for reading. Why not put some child-sized bookshelves nearby?
- Spend just 10 minutes each day reading with your child.
- Take an active interest in what your child is reading.
- Children learn by example. If you talk with excitement about the books you are reading, your child will naturally want to do the same.
- Visit the local library together with your child to explore a wide variety of books and the library’s own reading events.
- Children should read books that match their ability and interests, which may not always match their age or school year. This is why the books on Kumon Recommended Reading Lists (RRL) are listed according to difficulty rather than age. It may mean that a preschool child chooses to read longer books, while an older primary-school child is more comfortable reading simpler, more colourful books.
- Use the genre icons and book blurbs in the RRL and RRL-Australian supplement to help find the right books for your child.
Reading Aloud to Your Child
The stories you read aloud to your child are his or her first introduction to the world of books. Reading aloud can be lots of fun and has so many benefits. These include getting a feel for the sounds and rhythms of language, vocabulary-building, helping to develop imagination and creativity, strengthening the parent-child bond, and widening a child's experience of the world.
- Let your child choose the books he or she wants you to read to them. Young children enjoy having colourful, well-illustrated books read to them, particularly books that include repetition, rhythm, or rhyme. They will often want you to reread the same book many times.
- Read at a pace that allows your child to follow the story. Talk about the story and the pictures as you read.
- The 'Read Together' section of the RRL lists fifty books that are ideal for reading aloud to your child. Other books on the lists may also be read aloud.
- Be encouraging and read with enthusiasm – try giving life to the characters in the story by using different, funny voices. Your child will learn to enjoy books and will soon want to read for themselves.
- Do not stop reading to your child as soon as he or she is able to read independently. Try reading longer books a chapter at a time. Your child will enjoy listening to books that are more difficult than his or her own reading ability.
Encouraging Your Child to Become an Independent Reader
Children who are just beginning to read feel an enormous sense of achievement and joy when they can read a whole book by themselves.
- Listen to your child read, give encouragement and help out with difficult words. Read books together, taking turns to read a sentence or page each.
- Start with short, simple books with large print and few words on each page. The books on the RRLs in Level 2A have been specifically selected to suit children taking their first steps in independent reading.
More Confident Readers
Even after your child becomes an independent reader, continue to talk about and recommend books.
- As your child gains confidence, he or she will be ready to read the stories in Levels A and B, most of which still contain many pictures.
- In Level B the RRLs introduce longer books in which the story is told mainly through text rather than pictures. The story is spread over a number of chapters.
- The books on the RRL may be a part of a series or may stand alone as a single title. Many are written by well-known authors of children's books. Encourage your child to read more books in the same series or other titles by the same author.
- Use the genre icons within the RRL to help your child find more books from genres he or she likes, or to encourage him or her to try a different genre.
- Encourage your child to read more of what he or she enjoys. Above all, reading should be satisfying, exciting and fun.