Reading with Your Kindergarten Child: Literacy Awareness – A Book is More than a Story

IMG_0238Summer Travel and Reading

We’ve both been travelling with our own families this summer to places near and far, and the topic of “what to pack” inevitably comes up as leaving day approaches. Besides clothes, shoes and a small collection of handbags, there’s going to be few other things to consider depending upon your family’s composition.

For families with very young children, you will probably need to bring the travel baby stroller, car seat and travel cot. We watched in awe as a young family consisting of mom, dad, infant twins, twin 3 year- olds, two baby bucket seats and a double stroller, sat opposite us on our flight. So very brave.

For families with school-aged children, stuffed animals and a few favourite toys are necessary items for travel and as a reminder of home.

For those of us with teenagers, you might think it’s just a big collection of personal devices.

guidesWell… although my family did bring their iPhones and iPads on our most recent holiday (I can’t tell you how many we brought of each because it’s embarrassing and possibly contradicts what we’re writing about), we have a surprising amount of reading material. Between the four of us we have eight books, a Kobo reader and the Globe and Mail from the morning we left Vancouver. Plus, we’re receiving and reading the daily local paper and reading numerous guidebooks and brochures we picked up along the way.

From our gorgeous holiday location, one might wonder, “Why are you reading when you could be outside doing other things?”

Although we are thoroughly enjoying daily all of the outdoor pursuits our holiday has to offer –swimming, boogie boarding, paddle boarding, snorkelling, walking, hiking, zip-lining–we still think it’s pretty awesome that our teenagers love to read and chose to pack books to bring with them.

The kids read on the plane, at night before they go to bed, and yes, we’re all catching up on a bit of American Netflix at the hottest part of the day, but we’re also reading a lot. When I look around during a quiet moment here in our condo, and see that everybody is reading as a personal choice activity, I’m happy and satisfied with the decisions we made when our kids were young.

We’ve been readers our whole lives and sharing the love of reading as a pleasurable pursuit, and fostering and modelling a love of reading at home with our children, has always been one of our highest priorities.

The Self-Regulated Teacher

photo-10Do you love reading as a pleasurable, down-time activity?

Do you have a list of books to read that will take at least two lifetimes to complete?

The importance of regular modelling of reading by all us, parents and teachers, cannot be taken too lightly.  The children are looking to us to see if we place a high value on reading through our words and actions.

Last week we wrote about creating a home environment that places reading as a priority to foster a love of reading and literature in our children.

As teachers, our students see us reading a lot.  From the attendance form to story time books, teaching books to charts and labels, our students see us doing a great deal of purposeful reading in our day.

Here are some things we think about as we are reading to and with our students that you can do during…

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Reading with Your Kindergarten Child: Establish an Atmosphere for Reading at Home

IMG_4073School’s out, our classrooms are tidied up and we’re officially on holiday, and that includes writing for our blog! But we’re reposting some great articles over the next two months that you may have missed, to read and catch up with the website.

With the summer break and the hot weather we’re having right now, we love to spend some time out of the sun doing one of our favourite activities: reading. Just the thought of freedom to read whatever we want, for as long as we want, is a delicious moment to savour! It’s a great chance to visit your local library, favourite book stores, or even peruse old favourites from your home library, for reading material.

Exploring secondhand bookstores is another fun thing to do with your family. We both love to buy old books to complete collections of series we started in childhood (I own every copy of the original 65 Nancy Drew books; and Christy, the entire A.A. Milne Winnie the Pooh series); or old copies of a favourite English series, Thrush Green by Miss Read, wonderful books about a fictional Cotswold village. The two schoolteachers, Miss Watson and Miss Fogerty, remind us that although our methods and curriculum might have changed, the sheer delight in working with young children remains the same.

Visiting new and used bookstores while we travel is a must. If you’re in Victoria, British Columbia, you must visit Russell Books, on Fort Street. It’s just up a few doors from the delectable Dutch Bakery where you can indulge your sweet tooth.

If you’re going down the coast, Village Books in Fairhaven, Washington, is a great destination. They have a wonderful children’s book section, and a lovely gift shop with an old fashioned candy area.

IMG_4067For those travelling through Oregon, you have to go to Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon. Go upstairs to the coffee bar for a coffee and cookie–absolutely fabulous! Warning: we spent only a morning at Powell’s and felt rushed. If you have a family of book lovers, you’re going to need time as it is takes up an entire city block! We bought 18 books on our last visit, and Christy’s family a mere 14, and getting down to those numbers was a huge challenge at best.

So now that you’ve bought all your books, time to start reading at home.

The Self-Regulated Teacher

sunshine readersA few weeks ago we started a Home Reading Program for our Kindergarten classes.

It’s just a simple program of emergent books and readers, where the children independently select a book to take home to read with their parents three times a week.   We have our book exchange during Centre time.  We call the children over to choose their book by our “bookkeeping” method of the ziploc bags where we’ve written their names and keep the individual books.  After the children select their new book and put it into the ziploc, they place the book inside their backpacks to go home.

Home Reading is a fun opportunity for our students to read aloud books appropriate for their reading level to their parents. But it’s not meant to replace the nightly bedtime story.

The cozy and comforting routine of a bedtime story is one of our strongest memories. We still have…

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