When we go to the library, I often allow them to take a stroll through the library and pick books that peak their interests. Sometimes, but not always, I preview the book before I give them access to read the pages on their own. However, I was reminded recently that I need to take time to either read with my children or preview the books before I allow my kids to read them.
Today, I wanted to take a few moments to highlight the importance of previewing books before your child reads them and reading with your kids.
1. Review the content.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the content in the book align with your home values and family beliefs?
- At what age are you comfortable with your child learning about world views that may contradict from your teachings?
Even if the book is a subject that you approve of, you never know when something else that may not be in line with your home values is presented. For instance, we recently read “Who Was Sally Ride?” by Megan Stine. In many ways the book was an excellent biography about the Astronaut, Philanthropist, Astrophysicists, etc. Her story is inspiring to young scholars in many ways, but towards the end of the book Stine mentions Sally’s alternative lifestyle after she divorces her husband. This probably isn’t a huge deal for older children (depending on your personal beliefs), but for my 5 year olds it was more than I felt they were ready to know, at this time. Thankfully, I was reading the book with them.
2. Ask questions.
Develop questions to make sure they are comprehending and interpreting what is being read correctly.
- Simple questions should be asked about the reading material such as the Who? What? When? and Where?
- Ask your child what he or she enjoyed or did not like about the story, this will also help you learn more about your child’s interest.
3. Be flexible.
As parents, we want the best for our children. By reading books that our children enjoy, we enter their world and are able to share and dialog on different levels.
Educating children is not only about academics, it is about the love of learning. More than anything, reading and doing educational activities don’t just make your children smarter it opens a window in their mind that helps them seek to learn more, not because they have to, but because they want to.