“The fire of literacy if created by the emotional sparks between a child, a book and the person reading. It isn’t achieved by the book alone, nor by the child alone, nor by the adult who’s reading aloud – it’s the relationship winding between all three, bringing them together in easy harmony.”
– Mem Fox, Reading Magic: How your child can learn to read before school – and other read-aloud miracles
Ready to read
If your child is one who likes routines or time to focus there are many ways to let them know that storytime is approaching apart from having it marked on a clock. Think about
Have a selection of stories – favourites, familiars and first-reads – and let the child choose. If it’s one that has been shared before talk about what they remember; if it’s a new one talk about the cover and the title and what the story might be about to focus their mind and expectations.
Those who read aloud well are able to draw in their audience with just their voice, their eye contact and their enthusiasm creating a world that is just the story, the child and the reader. If you don’t feel comfortable in doing this try some of these suggestions…
The more you read, the better you will get – but always remember this is about building a bond with your child, not a formal reading lesson, so don’t be too serious and take time to just delight in each other’s company. You and your child will build a secret world that just the two of you share.
Reading aloud doesn’t have to stop when your child is an independent reader – it’s something that can be enjoyed together for many years.
Remember, whenever you are reading aloud to your child you are conveying so much more than just the words on the page. You are setting them up for enjoying the written word for life.
And if you do it well enough, you don’t even need pictures!
M.Ed.(TL), M.App.Sci.(TL), M.I.S. (Children's Services)