November 07, 2012

The Ten Commandments -- of Reading Aloud

If you've spent much time in your library's picture book section, you've probably spent some time with the work of Mem Fox.  She has created a huge (and growing), well-varied body of work adults & kids love, including The Magic Hat (a favorite of mine), Koala Lou, Whoever You Are, Where is the Green Sheep, Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes, and Tough Boris
"Updated and Revised?"  Looks like I may have
 to replace my 10-year-old copy of the book! ;)

In addition to being a prolific author of children's books, Fox is also a well-known literacy expert & advocate.  If you've not seen her book, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever, check it out!  The subtitle may sound challenging to you, but Reading Magic is so clear & concise, it's actually a fun breeze to read!  If you consider yourself the "multitasking" type, you could probably digest the book while simultaneously sitting through a TV show, updating your Facebook status--and maybe even ironing (who knows)!  See if your library has a copy, & let me know what you think.  

In the meantime, have a look at Fox's "Ten Read-Aloud Commandments."  There are some quick tips in here that can get you & your family on the road to reading magic right away!

1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day 
    reading aloud.

2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story
    three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories 
    before they can begin to learn to read.

3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and
    don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. 
    Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.

4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself
    and great joy for the listeners.

5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over
    again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book:
    i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.

6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them
    constantly about the pictures, or anything  else connected
    to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember;
    or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy 
    together doing clapping games.

7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young
    children, and make sure the books are really short.

8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see
    on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and 
    finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours,
    remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous

9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.

10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because
      you just love being with your child, not because it’s the
      right thing to do.

READ UP!  I have many more great books to share with you!

No comments: