Thursday, July 21, 2011

Laying the Groundwork for Kindergarten Reading Success: Part 3

According to an article from by Lawren Allphin a parent must lay the groundwork for their kindergarten child to be a successfl reader. Below is part 3 of the article:

One-on-One Conversations

You talk to your child all day long, but setting aside a set amount of time each day to talk in a special way can have a big impact on reading readiness. According to Daniel, “Young children need ‘Ear Time:’ a time when an adult the child cares about is listening intently to them and responding with questions.” Everybody is busy, and often when we talk with our kids, we're only half listening.
To get maximum reading benefit, set a kitchen timer at a specific time each day and tell your child that until it rings, you're going to focus solely on him. If the phone rings, ignore it. Let the laundry sit until later. Start a conversation, listen to what your child says, and ask questions. Ear Time not only builds self-esteem, it helps prepare children's brains for maximum intake, Daniel says. One-on-one conversations with your child teach them how to hold a back-and-forth dialogue, and build their vocabulary at the same time. And studies show that one of the key predictors of reading success in young children is their vocabulary.
Want to help your child stretch his word bank? Quit dumbing down what you say for his benefit. “It’s important for parents to use grown-up vocabulary when talking to their kids," Daniel says. "They’ll be able to understand you by reading your non-verbal cues, listening to your expression and tone, and by the context of the situation. This will build your child’s vocabulary, and help him understand the nuances of language.”
For example, if your child is diving into a big slice of chocolate cake, instead of saying, “Mmm, yummy,” try rubbing your tummy and saying, “That cake looks delectable!” The excitement in your eyes and your other non-verbal cues will ensure that your child understands you. Sprinkling “Ear Time” in with your more casual conversations can prove to be a huge factor in your child’s reading success.


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