Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - August 2014

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18 Hudson Valley Parent n August 2014 By CHRISTA MELNYK HINES S tudies find that kids with a zest for reading acquire stronger vocabulary and writing skills and a better under- standing of human nature and different cultures. Unfortunately by age 8, many children, especially boys, are less likely to read for pleasure as their in- terests turn to friends, video games and other activities. Motivate your child to read by appealing to his personality and interests. Read aloud Continue reading together even after your child can read independently. Model fluency — a critical reading skill that enables us to read quickly and accurately with proper expression. Lack of fluency often fuels reading frustrations, which can affect learning as children advance to the upper grades where reading demands increase. Besides, this is just a great way to bond! Tell a story Recall a favorite tale or share a personal experience. Storytelling nurtures early literacy, helps with comprehension and reflects your val- ues. Plus, research finds storytelling increases the overall well-being and happiness of families. Consider non-fiction Explore different genres with your child. "Children often say they don't like to read because they've only read things chosen for them by oth- ers," says librarian Helma Hawkins. "Find a subject your child is inter- ested in and then find a selection of books or magazines on that subject and let her choose." Make 'em laugh You may not care for Captain Un- derpants' humor or Junie B. Jones' grammar, but these books often leave kids roaring for more. "We read Junie B. Jones in the classroom and use the inappropriate things she says as teaching moments: 'What could she have said?'" says Jill Conard, a first grade teacher. "We talk about bullying behavior and ways to create peace-building." Fan the flame Hook your child onto a series or a specific author. Legions of young fans rally around series like My Weird School, The Magic Tree House, Harry Potter and Little House on the Prairie. Comic books count, too! Subscribe to magazines Kids love to get mail! Kids mag- azines cover topics ranging from current events, wildlife and science to sports and fashion. Motivate through incentives Set goals and reward your child's reading efforts with a special outing or treat. Hit the books! How to fire up your reluctant reader Set aside daily quiet time for family reading. (Continued on Page 20) Our Cover Kid, Henry, had a great time reading about big earthmovers at the Newburgh Mall branch of the Newburgh Free Library system.

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