Today at Booklights, I took a break from offering book suggestions to talk about [start groan here] summer reading lists. [end groan] I look at them as a necessary evil. Some are lousy, some are great. Some of us don’t need them, others find them incredibly useful. There are two points in my post.
1. Not all lists are created equal; and
2. Talk to your librarian … THE EXPERT when it comes to summer reading and lists!
So with that thought, I would like to welcome back Maria Burel, who has a post for us about navigating the library. Take it away, Maria …
As summer approaches, consider making trips to the library a family event! Children as young as two can benefit from this experience. So what can you expect from a trip to the library? Here are some ways to maximize the experience and have fun with your kids in the library!
Age 2 – Begin exploring the children’s section. Kids at this age love to explore, so let them. Allow them to pull an appealing book from the display in the children’s corner. Let them carry it around. This is also the appropriate time to teach your child the correct way to handle materials and to model the act of reading. Make a show of how to hold a book, turning pages, and reading from front to back. Select a few board books to explore immediately, and set aside some others to take home.
Age 4 – By age 4, young children have begun to develop an interest in specific areas. Is it trucks? Dora? Puppies? Guide your child toward age-appropriate materials that correspond with his/her interests. Consider selecting a variety of materials, including emergent reader books with a single word and corresponding picture on each page, as well as longer picture books for you to read aloud. You might also take a moment to learn about story times at the library.
Age 6 – At this point, many children are beginning to independently practice their reading skills. Encourage this independence by helping your child select books on his/her reading level, while still supporting their independent choices. Also, consider listening to audiobooks (books on CD or tape) in the car. This option allows your child to listen to stories he/she may not be able to yet read independently. As an added bonus, it gives YOU a nice break for parents from Yo Gabba Gabba, or the Toddler Tunes station.
Age 8 – Most children in this age group are developing into independent readers. Celebrate this independence by giving your child his/her own library card (if they dont’ have one already). Show your child how to use the electronic card catalog for subject or title searches. Some kids may still need assistance with spelling, but work together to sound out the letters. Also this is a good time to teach your child the five-finger rule for selecting books.
Open the book to any page and start reading.
Hold up one finger for EVERY word that you don’t know or have trouble pronouncing.
0-1 fingers- book is too easy
2-3 fingers- book is one they can read independently
4 fingers- book is going to be a challenge and may be too difficult
5 fingers-book is at the frustration level at this time
Age 10 – As they approach the end of the grade school years, most children are proficient with using the card catalog and finding materials for themselves. While they may not need your hands-on guidance, stay involved with your child’s reading. Suggest titles your child might enjoy. Did you know that Ann M. Martin’sThe Babysitter’s Club series has been republished with a new look? Or that Beverly Cleary’s The Mouse and the Motorcyle remains a popular favorite among young readers? Your youth services librarian may have other suggestions, as well.
No matter what their age, it is important for you to be involved in your child’s reading experience. Visit the library together. Talk about what your child is reading. Share your own positive experiences with books. Reading truly is a family affair.