Two scoops of reading in the morning will improve children's literacy

Two scoops of reading in the morning will improve children's literacy says one Ball State University education expert.

Adjusting schedules to add reading time before or after breakfast will allow parents to make use of time when children are ready to learn rather than fall asleep, says Claudia McVicker, an assistant professor of elementary education in Ball State's Teachers College.

"Children learn best in the morning, and a child's response to a book helps comprehension," she said. "If you read to soothe your child to sleep, you may not see her hop like the frog when you read 'Jump, Frog, Jump!' or hear him chime in when you read 'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.'"

McVicker offers these hints to squeeze some reading into morning routines:

  • School lunch literacy - Post the school lunch list on the fridge, and read the lunch menu with your child every day. After several weeks, your child will know the days of the week and will recognize many new words.
  • Cereal spelling - Buy some Alphabits cereal, and spell some words on the table for your child to read when she gets to the table. She will look forward to the message each morning.
  • Shaving cream literacy - While dads are shaving, they can put a small dollop of shaving cream on the bathroom counter and dictate letters or words for children to write with their fingers.
  • Garfield in the comics - Read Garfield with your child each day. Jim Davis uses wonderful words in most of his strips. You will be able to define new words with your child as you read. You can also help your child begin to understand how to infer meaning (read between the lines) from these. Inference is an important thinking process for comprehension of text.

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