Monday, August 3, 2009

Recently Read: Reading Magic

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever by Mem Fox

I saw this book recommended on Once Upon a Good Time. Their review states:
"The book illustrates how reading aloud to your kids can prepare and even teach them to read, improve their speaking skills, expand their vocabulary and (my favorite) strengthen the bond between parent and child. Mem Fox comments, “The time spent reading together provides clear evidence to a child of a parent’s love, care, and focused attention. And it gives the parent a chance to close off the rest of the world, relax, and connect with the child wonderfully.”
My first thought was, "I know reading aloud to children is very important--so why do I need to read this?" But I am glad I picked up a copy from my library. This book brought back my focus to the simple pleasure, enjoyment and importance of reading to my children.

From Mem Fox's website, here is the short version of the book:

1. Spend at least ten wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud.

2. Read at least three stories a day: it may be the same story three times. Children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.

3. Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, or flat, or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot.

4. Read with joy and enjoyment: real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners.

5. Read the stories that the kids love, over and over and over again, and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book: i.e. with the same intonations on each page, each time.

6. Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book; or sing any old song that you can remember; or say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way; or be noisy together doing clapping games.

7. Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for young children, and make sure the books are really short.

8. Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page, such as letting kids finish rhymes, and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours, remembering that it’s never work, it’s always a fabulous game.

9. Never ever teach reading, or get tense around books.

10. Please read aloud every day, mums and dads, because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do.


KT said...

Have you read the "Read Aloud Handbook"? It sounds like it's along these same lines... I love that book and always recommend it to friends with kids.

Nurture Mama said...

I haven't read that, but I'll add it to my list. Thanks for the recommendation!