When a child is ready to read


Nothing gives parents and guardians more satisfaction and joy than to see their very young child trying to read or exhibiting ready-to-read behaviors.

What are some of the behaviors?

The very young child may:

* Carry a favorite book around all the time

* Sit alone with a favorite book looking at the pictures

* Fill in words you misread or leave out

* Demand that the story be read in a particular way

* Want to hear the same story over and over (until you both have it memorized)

* Tell/read the story from memory

* Read picture clues ("one picture is worth a thousand words")

What can you do to help?

* Read the book requested

* Extend the reading time a few minutes longer to read the often requested book, then introduce something new

* Encourage your child's reading. Say, "I'm so proud of you!"

* Take photographs of what your child looks like reading or when someone is reading to your child.

* Continue to model reading behaviors to your child

* Show or read to your child something from your reading material, i.e. newspaper, book, magazine, how-to-book

* Keep a record of books read

* Record reading behaviors (on the kitchen calendar)

* Point to the words as you read them aloud

* Let your child point as you read out loud (when they are physically able)

* Answer their questions as much as you are able

* Bring personal experiences to the story

A resident of Ellicott City, Jerdine Nolen is the award- winning children's author of "Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm" and "Raising Dragons." She is a former teacher and administrator in elementary education, and has personally field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Pub Date: 01/24/99

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