Teaching kids to love reading and literature doesn’t stop at the parents or teachers: it’s a whole family and community-wide effort. Everyone can pitch in and not only help children to achieve much greater success in life, but bond with the child, improve their social skills, and build memories that will last for years. Not only can grandparents play a vital role in this process, they should be key players in early literacy efforts. Learn how grandparents and reading for kids go hand in hand, and what you as a grandparent can do to play your part.
Adopting Social Media
Kids are steeped in technology these days; there is no escaping that. Even for the most luddite technophobes among us, we have to look at the shape society is in and admit that for the next generation, e-readers, smartphones, tablets and computers are not only a fact of life, but a way of life. Grandparents who get savvy with social media can use this to their advantage. Why not find out what your grandkids are reading, get interested in the same book, and Facebook or Skype with them to discuss what they love and hate? You’ll engage them on their own level and they’ll be impressed with your tech-savviness!
The “Tell Me” Framework
A recent article in the Guardian discusses using a framework for book discussions with kids that is called “Tell Me.” This framework consists of four points of discussion:
- What did you like? What about the book interested you or got you paying attention?
- What did you dislike about the book? Was there anything that made you not want to finish?
- Was there anything that confused you, surprised you or made you really think hard about the story?
- What themes and patterns did you notice? Did it make you think about anything in real life?
These questions need not all be asked in the same way or at the same time. They just provide a framework for engaging discussion that can help a child find excitement in what they are reading.
Finding the Right Books
Help your grandchild explore their interest by finding out what they like and doing some research on your own. Don’t shy away from the classics, either; books like Matilda, Madeline, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Bear Called Paddington, Beezus and Ramona, The Mouse and the Motorcycle and others are classics for a very good reason—they have a cross-generational and nearly universal appeal. They can be a great way to get kids excited and interested in reading.
Also look to newer award-winners that are making waves, and never turn away from combining technology with reading. There are a wealth of interactive e-books on the market these days that in many ways feel like watching a cartoon or playing a video game—things kids always love. You could get them reading without even realizing it!
If you’re looking for a great way to get your grandchild involved, why not start with an interactive eBook chosen from among the many free options we have to offer? Then take some time to review the other great early literacy tools we have available.