Have you read something yet with one of your kids today?
While I hope that on any given day that answer would always be a resounding 'Yes!", today it's even more special–it's Read Across America, which has been celebrated since 1998 on March 2 in conjunction with Theodore Seuss Geisel's (Dr. Seuss) birthday. It's basically an National Education Association (NEA) sponsored pep rally for reading.
For lots of reading activities go to Random House Children's Books page Seussville.com …though skip it today, because the site'll probably be a bit slow due to all the NEA traffic.
Here are the NEA's 6 Ways to Raising Good Readers (with exposition by Moi):
1. Start Early A child is never too young to be read to…even if your friends and family look at you like you're a total nut as you read your favorite board book (or even the New York Times) aloud to your infant, it's really not crazy. You are helping your baby with his or her first stages of language development. As to whether reading to babies in utero helps with anything at all, the jury's out 😉
2. Surround Your Child with a Reading Rich Environment Books, posters, alphabet magnets, alphabet blocks are all ways to expose your child to print. Also important? Children who see their caregivers read are more likely to read themselves! Fiction, nonfiction, books, magazines, menus…it's all important to have around.
3. Talk to Your Child Speaking with your child helps him or her develop vocabulary, world knowledge, social skills…and also makes him or her feel important, secure and loved. You should talk to your child from the moment they are born (or even before!) If you have nothing to say to your newborn babe, try reading aloud (See #1)
4. Teach Your Child while You Read Aloud Don't just read on and on in a monotone. Point at words, pictures, run your finger along sentences. Act stories out by using different voices.
5. Help Your Child Develop Critical Thinking Skills Introduce the title, author and illustrator of every book that you read. Ask questions and listen to and offer your own answers. Talk about cause and effect, character development, main idea and other parts of the story. Make predictions.
6. Find a Good Preschool Setting If and when you decide to send your child to preschool, look for a place that is clean, cozy, well lit, print-rich and full of friendly, caring and well-educated teachers. The schedule should include a variety of language learning experiences–read alouds, cooking, art, free play, games and more.
Oh, and one more thing, have you seen Google awesome Seuss Doodle from 2009? Too bad this year the folks at Google dropped the ball 🙁