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By Renee Smith | J&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

Renee_blog-photo_72dpiAlthough most of us love to read to our pre-school children, that practice often slows down or ceases altogether when the child learns to read. But should it?

As I noted in an earlier post, children learn in different ways. The learning skills do not develop at the same rate, nor do all the skills ultimately achieve the same level of competency. As adults, some of us prefer to read; some prefer to listen; some prefer the big picture; others like all the little details.

Reading is a more advanced skill than listening. Children begin listening almost at the moment of birth. Reading takes a bit longer. Most of you can identify a favorite book that your child knows word for word even though he/she cannot read.

The power of listening!

Although your child may no longer be interested in listening to the formerly read story books, what are current interests? Or what might future interests be?

In today’s world of instant connectivity both children and adults are hooked up, tuned in or logged on so much of the time, but are we connecting with one another?

Sunday afternoons or just before bed (regardless of the age – every child likes to stay up just a little bit longer!) are perfect times to begin a new tradition.

Select a book that may be a year or two ahead of your child’s chronological age. If you are unsure what that might be, consult the teacher or the librarian. Don’t let them talk you out of selecting that older book!  Remember listening skills outpace reading skills.

This reading/listening session provides multiple opportunities for you and your child.  You can discuss the reading. This process will improve vocabulary and comprehension skills. Children may also begin to learn about potential careers. You just may learn something about your growing child that you did not know!

Do any of you already share a reading time with your older children?

What do you read?

When do you read?

What books do you recommend?