New Research on Brain Development
A message on how important those first years are in your child's life. Don't worry if your child is older! Although the first year is the most important for brain development, there is a strong message that all of the early years - from birth to age 10 - are important. Talk with your child about his interests and ideas. Listen to his responses. By helping your older child pursue his interests and explore new skills such as music or reading, and by supporting his work at school, you are building on the brain development.
Your child has started school, but he still needs you to read to him at home. Your child will do better in school, and you'll enjoy the time spent together. Here are helpful tips for reading to and with young children in school, kindergarten through third grade:
- Keep reading to your child even when he can read. Read books that are too difficult or long for him to read alone.
- Try reading books with chapters and talk about what is happening in the story. Encourage your child to make predictions about what will happen next, and connect characters or events to those in other books and stories.
- Talk with your child about reading preferences that are beginning to develop. Ask whether she likes adventure stories, mysteries, science fiction, animal stories, or stories about other children. Encourage her to explain the reasons for preferences.
- Talk with your child about favorite authors and help him find additional books by those authors.
- Take turns reading a story with your child. Don't interrupt to correct mistakes that do not change the meaning.
- Talk about the meaning of new words and ideas introduced in books. Help your child think of examples of new concepts.
- Talk with your child about stories using the notions of the beginning, middle, and end of the story to organize thinking and discussion.
- Ask your child to tell why a character might have taken a specific action. Ask for information from the story to support her answer.
- Enjoy yourself and have fun. The most important thing you can do to help your child become a successful reader is communicate that reading is valuable and enjoyable.