Reading to Your Child

With my oldest child turning 19 this month and my youngest two being 5, I've had many years of practice reading books aloud at home. No one showed me how and I wasn't teaching yet when I became a parent, but my own love of reading made me anxious to share it with my children. There's just something magical about pulling your sweet little one into your lap or tight up beside you to share in a story.

Every parent should do their best to make it a priority in their routine. As stated on the Reading is Fundamental website:
Research and practice show that one simple activity — reading aloud — is the
best way to prepare children for learning to read and to keep them reading
as they learn and grow. Reading aloud helps your children develop the
language skills that they will use in school and throughout their lives.

I never really thought about parents not knowing "how" to go about reading aloud to their child, until my friend dayle brought it up. I asked her to remind me about our conversation regarding this many months ago and here was what she said,

"My mother did not read to me as a child so I didn't really have a model for reading for reading to my own child. I had read to the children in my class and had learned to give a performance to keep them engaged, but I had never really applied that to reading to my infant son. I had tried to read to him a few times because all the books said I should but he seemed so uninterested. About that time I happen to see a video of a mother reading to her child, drawing him into the book with voices and questions and conversation. It was so warm and safe. I remember thinking - "oh, that's what it looks like." That single video made all the difference."

dayle's brainchild was to create a bank of videos that demonstrate examples of parents reading to their children. We began thinking about our large faculty and realised that we had teachers with kids of every pre-school and elementary age to possibly use...and that is where I came in. See, my big joke around work is that my job is, "to do whatever dayle tells me" because basically I do! I'm very lucky to share an office with someone with such brillant ideas so I gladly do what she asks. We don't call her "the Queen" for no reason.

So after months of scheduling, taping, editing, posting, etc...the project is finally complete. I didn't always get the lighting and locations I wanted because we had to catch the kids and parents when we could, but the content is what is important. For my techie friends...I edited the footage in Pinnacle and then uploaded to Google video. We wanted to keep each video under three minutes, since this is just a sampling.

View all of the videos on our school website under the page on the left labeled "Read with your Child". dayle has added suggested ideas also, since the videos are just examples of things you can do with your child. I hope you will be able to use them or refer them to someone who may use them. Special thanks to the teachers who allowed me into that personal "magical space" with their child: Haley Alvarado, Meredy Mackiewicz, Randi Timmons, Angela Phillips, Debbie Rossignol, Cheryl Dillard, Rick Pinchot, Julie Johnson, JJ Ossi and Tammi Sani. Below, I'm embedding the most recent taping I did of Meredy reading to her daughter. Happy reading!


Dear Melanie,

This post reminds me of the day my first child was born. I read the little board book "Daddy Loves Me" to her in the hospital before she was one day old.

Guess I was trying to brainwash her in more ways than one!

It must have worked because now that she's in 1st grade she definitely knows her daddy loves her, and she's reading up a storm!

How sweet! Now that would have been something to get on tape!

Thanks for the comment:)