From the day of their birth, children are learning languages, and the words that they are exposed to for the first few years of their lives influence their language development and academic performance for the years to come. When preparing your children for preschool, it is critical that you take time out of each day to read to and with them.
For generations, parents have read stories to their young children and for good reason - the developmental benefits are endless. The transition from daycare to preschool will be much easier when reading has been a part of their daily routine.
When you read a story, don’t just read it quickly as if it is a task that needs to be finished right away. Take your time. Talk about the meaning of a word if it is a new word. Encourage your children to look at the pictures on each page. As a children’s author, I know the importance that not only words have on each page in a book, but also the pictures. I hired a children’s artist to design and paint the pictures, according to my direction and input. Pictures convey a specific message so I wanted to ensure that each picture told the message that I wanted the child to know and learn.
In addition to looking at the pictures and discussing them, a parent should make reading fun by changing the intonation of his voice. Also, if it is a woman speaking, try to speak as a woman. The same thing if it is a man. Make a silly voice if the character is a funny character. I think you get the gist of what I am trying to convey.
Try not to limit your reading times to bed time. If there is a lull in the afternoon on a weekend, pull out a book to read to your children. There should always be plenty of books in each room in the house. Or, ask one of your children to find a book that you can read to them.
We parents want our children to be prepared for preschool. The foundation of literacy is the most important and lasting foundation that you can give them.