As a child, I would fall asleep to the words of my father reading Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with questions about friendship and people beyond the stretch of my neighborhood.
I queried about the roles of farm versus wild animals as I listened to George Orwell’s Animal Farm and found piles of socks and gum wrappers when en route to a new land after a series of C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.
I formulated the curve of my letters by reading aloud the diction of Little Women, clarifying the misunderstanding of how an “i” can look like a “j” and still imitate a “g” (i.e. jovial).
I learned the meaning of sharing in Shel Siverstein’s The Giving Tree and how to feign sickness with the lyrics to his poem “Sick”-
But Pops- I cannot go to school today…I have the measles and the mumps/ A gash, a rash, and purple bumps…
…what’s that? What’s that you say? You say today is… Saturday? G’bye- I’m going out to play!”
I learned how to write love letters with authors like Jude Blume and Pablo Nerudo- how to write with visual understanding of my word.
I learned through novels. Through books on tapes. Through words.
Schools today are fighting for their education, for their students’ rights to learn with little means to the growing technology on age-appropriate content.
Libraries are becoming quiet.
As the fight continues for teacher salary increases and additional funds for literacy content, a growing disparity cannot disturb one means of success to a child’s learning: speed reading at home.
Reading at home attests to the improvement of a child’s phonemic awareness (manipulating word sounds), phonics (ability to blend sounds together to form words), and guided oral reading (reading aloud with guidance and feedback.)
Note the five basic tips for reading at home with your children:
1. Don’t restrict reading to a bedtime routine- try a “quiet” activity.
2. Preview the book before reading- know your content.
3. Don’t be reluctant to repeat books- recognize words by sight. important practice.s
4. Play number and word identification games- play “find the ‘q’ game!”
4. Don’t immediately correct decoding mistakes- ask questions instead.
Check out the promotional music video above to promote child literacy.
Then pick up a book!