Creating Great Habits to Help Kids Grow
In the wake of COVID-19, many schools have temporarily closed so that kids can stay safe and healthy at home. While this is absolutely the right thing to do as a society, for each parent it creates a big, important question: “How can I make the most of this time I have together with my child?”
Along with fun activities, this can be a great opportunity to . One of the most important of these is the habit of reading.
Of course, like most things with our kids, this is not that easy to do. Yet statistics clearly show that kids who read and are read to from an early age are much more likely to do well in school, love learning and love reading.
It’s not hard, just follow the three R’s: Read, Read, Read! Read to your kids, from the time that they can open their eyes. Some parents even read to their babies in utero! Make reading time a habit for your kids. Then as they develop the skills and self-confidence to read successfully, they can read by themselves, but it is up to you to create an environment that supports and rewards it.
Many parents make reading part of the bedtime ritual, but as your child gets older, extend the ritual to include quiet time where they “read” to themselves before lights out. Even if it is just five minutes, it is the habit of reading we are trying to create.
But what should they read? Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed.D., a professor emerita at Lesley University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the author of Taking Back Childhood, says that reading, and learning to read, needs to be fun. The TinyIvy Phonics System accomplishes both of those things. Because kids can’t make mistakes, they enjoy the process of learning. It’s a game. It’s fun. They feel good about themselves. And so they keep reading. And even when they are reading themselves, keep reading to them.
Simply put, what she’s saying is to keep it fun for them. Go back to when you started loving books – how each one is a magical gateway to exploring new worlds, interacting with enchanting creatures, and solving complicated cases.
Now it’s your kids’ turn to experience the magic of books – here’s how you can help them.
Tip #1: Ambiance is Everything
Set up a fun reading nook or mini library at your home – with some of your kids’ favorite books and reading material.
Young kids are very visual beings and making their reading environment fun, enticing and overall cozy will motivate them to grab a book.
Pick a special “reading blanket”, and use it as a throw on the floor. Gather there to read as a family, or to your child, or let your kids read their favorite books. When you are done, you can pick it up and regain floor space. But soon they know that Blanket Time is Reading Time.
Try to work with them in designing their nook and make it an area they will love.
Tip #2: Make it a Family Time
One of the most effective ways to make sure your kids grow up loving books is to read to them.
Start by letting them pick a book they want you to read to them. Use your drama skills to change voices for characters, make sound effects, and bring each book to life. By example, you can show your children that words make music, evoke emotions, and create images and feelings. This will carry over to when they start reading on their own. You can even act out the story with them. . Not only can you enrich your children’s reading skills, but it’s an opportunity to develop a stronger bond with them.
Tip #3: Act Out the Story
Foster imagination in a really fun way. You can have your child draw pictures of their favorite scenes or their favorite characters. Have them write their own alternate endings and ‘what if’ scenarios. And, you can also act out the story by staging a sock puppet show!
This will bring more excitement to reading and develop creativity.
Tip #4: Technology is Your Friend Too
Allowing your kids to use reading tools develops independence in learning, which nurtures and develops a child’s natural tendency to be inquisitive.
Screen time is something that is rationed carefully in many households, but family-in-place sometimes may require some flexibility there! TinyIvy’s ReadingWorld is the perfect way to entertain your little ones while teaching them how to read. A dynamic app for smartphone and tablet, it teaches the TIP system, presenting a unique letter to match every unique sound. No confusion.
There are five fun islands to explore with a variety of games, and Athena, the Reading Guide, to help every step of the way. You can play with your kids, or they can play by themselves. But either way, it is an education in a dynamic and fun format. A few minutes a session, a few sessions a day, and your non-readers could be reading by the time the COVID-19 crisis is over! What a silver lining!
Want to experience how it works? Send us a message at https://tinyivy.com/contact-us/.