Now that summer vacation has begun, parents want to know what they can do to enhance learning during these school-free months.
One of the most important, and enjoyable, activities that we parents can do with our kids is read to them! We encourage you to read with your kids daily, if you can. Make it part of your daily or evening routine to spend 5-10 minutes reading out loud to your little ones.
Reading out loud to children is a critical part of building language skills. Children become familiar with words not common in everyday speech. They begin to recognize the sounds associated with various words: leading to “Phonemic Awareness.”
Phonemic Awareness is one of the first steps toward learning to read. Children become aware of each different sound, or phoneme, within each word. Without focusing on the letters (yet), you can reinforce the awareness of individual sounds at home, by repeating the beginning sound of an occasional word. For example:
“Winnie-the-puh-Pooh…”, “Pat the bu bunny…” or just “Hey, look at that ca cat!”
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Simple, and yet vastly important for building neurological pathways within the brains of very young children. These pathways will ultimately lead to reading readiness through the “development of language,” (one of Montessori’s Four Major Avenues of Learning.) Click here for more about the Four Major Avenues of Learning.
I cannot stress enough the importance of reading out loud to your children on a consistent basis. So, without further ado, here is a list of 10 classics books that are fun for both adults and kids under 5 or 6 years old:
- Are You My Mother? by Philip D. Eastman
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- The Going To Bed Book and other “Boynton on Board” books by Sandra Boynton
- Green Eggs and Ham and other books by Dr. Seuss
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam Mc Bratney
- Jamberry by Bruce Degan
- Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
- Peter Rabbit books by Beatrice Potter
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
- Any of the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne
Enjoy these books and have fun reading with your children this summer!