Today’s post is inspired by the Talking Points: Speech and Language New You Can Use blog.

“Shared book reading” is the term for reading a book with your child. It can be any book, so long as it is an interesting book for your child. Picture books, comic books, newspaper advertisements, Lego catalogs… ANYTHING.

It is a *wonderful* way to support developing language skills during the summer.

As Ms. Ascher points out on her blog, shared book reading

  • exposes children to emergent literacy;
  • fosters vocabulary growth;
  • aids in the development of narrative skills (important for reading comprehension and writing);
  • helps engagement in social participation;
  • supports entry into later true literacy skills.

Here are my tips for reading a book together with your child:

  • Pick an interesting book. Think about your child’s interests (robots, cars, food, television characters…) and pick something engaging. Librarians are a great resource to help you pick good books for your child.
  • Ask at least one question per page, and give time for your child to think and answer. It can be as simple as “What do you see on this page?”, or a more complicated question like “Why did Sally feel sad?” Encourage your child to think of her own questions about the book, too!
  • Make comments on each page. Point out interesting things you see, or comment about how something is similar or different to your own life. “That car looks like ours!” “Curious George sure is a naughty monkey, isn’t he?” “I see blueberry pancakes. I love eating pancakes!” Encourage your child to make his own observations.
  • Wait for 5 seconds at the end of each page, to give your child time to think of their own comments or questions.
  • Pick a time of the day that is free from distractions so that you can read every day. Bedtime works great for many families, but pick whatever time works best for you!

Here is a link to a great summer plan for reading that has a different focus for each week. There are so many opportunities for fun learning in the summer!

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