3 Simple Tips for Developing Beginning Readers

spinemaybebcI’m just a dad.

A dad whose wife is entering her 13th year as an elementary school teacher and 15th year of working with children.  While she would never brag about it, modest as she is, she is an unbelievable teacher and parents can’t say enough about how much she does for their child’s development during the school year.  And by default, our boys benefit from her teaching skills and receive this development on a daily basis.  Things that are second nature to my wife as a teacher pan out as daily learning moments in our household.

For my part, I’m perceptive.  Not only is it my job to notice everything, it’s my curse…I mean, my superpower.  If I had a dollar for every time my wife uttered, “Why do you notice EVERYTHING?” I’d be a rich, rich man.

The following are what I perceive as the three most important things she applies on a daily basis with our boys to advance their reading development, and, what I believe will help your beginning readers achieve the same.

1.  Interest

Here is the best way for me to explain this — our oldest son likes to watch SpongeBob SquarePants.  My wife and I have very little in the way of positive things to say about SpongeBob, and while we don’t consider the show bad (or else he wouldn’t be watching it), the overall tone is just silly and it doesn’t bring much to the table as far as learning goes.  Not like our old pal Curious George always did, but I digress.  Yet, all is not lost.

When my wife first brought home a 10 pack of reading books titled, Learn to Read with SpongeBob, I nearly threw my hands up in the air and cried, “Uncle!”  It was bad enough that I had to tolerate this annoying, absorbent and yellow pain in the neck on our TV, but please don’t let him invade precious book time.  But as I watched our son read these books with a smile on his face and with an eagerness to understand every single word on every single page in an effort to follow along with the adventures of his favorite character, I saw the brilliance of my wife’s selection.

Another great series of books are the “I Can Read!” books like, Batman: Meet the Super Heroes.  These are just a few examples in a long line of similar books ranging from Star Wars to Scooby-Doo and from Hot Wheels to the worlds of DC and Marvel superheroes.  Nobody knows your children better than you, so think about what interests them the most and use those interests as your vehicle for developing their reading skills.

Next:  Comprehension


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About Brad the Dad

Enjoy a unique, fresh and entertaining perspective on parenting as Brad the Dad learns what it takes to raise 2 boys in today's world. #DadsRT co-founder.

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  1. Great post Brad. I can totally relate, being married to an elementary teacher myself. Can’t agree more with all three points. Another thing that I’ll add is when they start going to school, get excited when they bring home new books from the library. It’s easy to forget how much kids feed off of our excitement for the little things that they do. But when you get excited about the latest book they checked out, they’ll be even more eager to dive into it.

  2. Thanks for adding to this topic, Kevin. If I was to create a longer list both that and the importance of keeping our libraries in the loop would be part of it. My oldest’s class usually visit the library on Fridays and he definitely comes home all excited about his selections. It’s also cool when I see him bring home hockey and space related stuff because I know such influences come directly from me. But you’re right, whatever they pick, it’s important to show excitement because these are decisions they are making independently of us and our excitement helps to give them confidence and enthusiasm in such decisions.

  3. happiestdaddy says:

    Brad…this is such a terrific post and should be required reading for all parents. The importance of reading cannot be overstated and you broke it down into three easy to understand and compelling parts.

    Like you, my wife and I started reading to our children almost from birth and their language skills have gotten the attention of family, friends, their doctor and strangers. It has been inspiring. Our boys crave books like they crave treats and never go to bed without 3-4 books apiece. Much credit goes to my wife who makes frequent trips to the library with the boys.

    Another thing that helps encourage reading is seeing parents who read. As a child, I remember our house being filled with books and I couldn’t wait to leaf through them and read them.

    • Brad the Dad says:

      Thank you very much for your kind words. And like Kevin, you also bring up the library which should be just as important as any of my 3 points. Great point about them seeing us parents read. My oldest son gets a kick out which books my wife and I are currently reading and this is way more visible to him during the summer months when we are reading outside, at the beach, etc… Lately, my wife and I have been reading the same books after each other and he gets a real kick out of this. “Daddy, are you reading the same book that Mommy just finished? Are you finished yet? Mommy finished it quicker than you, what’s taking you so long?”

  4. This is a great post Brad! Thank you for posting this. I learned a lot.

    • Thanks, Peter. I appreciate you taking the time to read and for your positive feedback.

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