In just a few minutes each day, we help guide our children toward school success. Bedtime is a good time to create a habit of sharing a book. It may work out better for some of us to read for 5 minutes here and there during the day than to read for 20 minutes straight.
How to get the most out of reading with your 2- to 6-year-old
The dialogic reading method, also called See and Hear method, will help you get the most out of your preschool together book time. You invite your child to talk as you read the book together. This interaction increases language skills, comprehension and vocabulary. This works very well with many books. You may enjoy doing this the second and third time you read the same book.
Comment, Talk More, and Take Turns. Describe the pictures in the books, then pausing to allow time for a response. A longer wait-time also lets the child know the adult is interested in what the child has to say.
Ask Questions, and Wait. Closed questions are those questions that require a yes-no answer, a pointing response, or a one or two-word label. Asking a child “What do you see?”, “Can you point to the cat?” or “What color is the alligator?” are examples of closed questions. Remember to wait.
Open-ended questions generally require a more complex response and may require additional “thinking time” on the part of the child. Open-ended questions tend to invite your child to say many sentences. “What is the chicken doing?”, “What’s going to happen next?”, or “Why did the girl need a new bicycle?” are examples of open-ended questions. Remember to wait.
Respond by Talking More. Expanding what a child says helps build language. The adult repeats what the child says and then expands by adding new words. This allows the child to hear the next level of difficulty. For example, if the child says “ball”, the adult says “ball, big ball.” This reinforces the child’s talking, gives her the support for the next level of complexity and provides new information. With older preschoolers use interesting words to build your child’s vocabulary. “I think the boy is very disappointed that his kite was swirling so high that it crashed.”
Language is the Key