Excerpt from Parents' & Teachers' Guide to Helping Young Children Learn by Betty Farber, M.Ed, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Parents' & Teachers' Guide to Helping Young Children Learn

Creative Ideas from 35 Respected Experts

by Betty Farber, M.Ed

Parents' & Teachers' Guide to Helping Young Children Learn
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    May 1998, 364 pages

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  • Provide a notebook for your child to do his own "writing" which at first will be scribbles and drawings, and later may include marks resembling letters or words. Ask your child if he'd like to read you the story he's written, or tell you the story of his picture.
  • Let your child see you using books of all kinds: telephone books, dictionaries, recipe books, and especially books you read for leisure. Make sure her books are easily accessible to her, and encourage her to get a book and read quietly when you do. Don't distinguish between "reading" and "looking at" a book. Looking at a book is reading for a young child, and you want your child to consider herself a reader from the beginning.
  • Draw attention to the print that surrounds you. When you take out the milk container, point to the word, "milk" and read it aloud, or ask, "Can you guess what this says?" Other examples of what educators like to call "environmental print" are the signs on restaurants and stores, traffic signs, and the covers of favorite books and records.
  • Help your child to understand the concept of time sequence by discussing daily experiences. After a trip, for example, ask, "What did we do first? What did we do next? What did we do at the end of the ride?" Remember that there is no one "right" answer. Use a similar approach for activities you are planning, by predicting what you will do: "What will we do before we leave? What do you think you'll see on the way?" This talk about time sequence can be translated from daily experience to reading of books. You can discuss what happened first, next, and at the end of the book. You can also predict what might happen in books you are about to read.

  • Transition to School
    Now is the time to learn what approach to reading is being used in the school your child will attend, so that you can determine how to become involved. Plan to be active in the PTA and push for a book drive or fund raiser for classroom libraries. If you have the time, volunteer to help out during language arts or storytime. Organize a parent/teacher workshop on reading to learn your school's approach and to see how you can best support it in school and at home. Finally, ask your principal, librarian, and teacher how they foster the love of reading and how you can help them to do so.

    Copyright Betty Farber 1997. All rights reserved.

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