Monday, October 10, 2005

Reading & Conversing at Home

Today comes along a short article on how to effect learning while conversing & reading at home. Hope you enjoy and more importantly practice the ideas. Remember, practice leads to perfection.

Reading and Conversing at Home

In listening, talking, and playing, your child develops important language and prereading skills every day. Putting thoughts into words, acquiring new words to describe feelings and surroundings, and knowing that his or her thoughts and words are valued—all help to build a solid foundation for continued language success. Here are suggestions for activities you can do with your toddler or preschooler to foster this very important developmental process.

The Art of Conversation

From infancy on, a child's attempts to communicate—whether through talking or making gestures—need to be responded to. For example, when your child motions for an object, name that object and expand on it when possible: "Here's a cookie. A chocolate chip cookie. A yummy chocolate chip cookie."

There are many other ways to encourage conversation with your child:

Let your child's interest be a focus of conversation. When something has captured your child's imagination—be it dinosaurs or fictional characters—take the role of novice and let your child take the role of expert. Ask questions as long as your child enjoys answering them.

Share family news during mealtimes. Ask specific questions that require more than a yes or no answer to get a child to respond in more detail. For example, instead of asking, "Did you have fun at the playground today?" ask, "Who was at the playground with you today?" or "What's your favorite thing to do at the playground?"

Tolerate moments of silence. Children often need time to figure out what they want to say. If you jump in and fill the silences for them, they don't get the opportunity to try to put things into their own words.

Make time for your child to meet and speak with guests in your home. Your child will learn about introductions and greetings and also may gain a new perspective by hearing a different viewpoint.


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