Benefits of Shared Reading

Blog 2

How to implement shared reading

The pandemic has taken many things from us. It has drastically limited our opportunities to interact with others face to face, move around and use public space. In most homes, it has altered our jobs, our routines, and even our economy. But, there is something that the pandemic has given us: more time to share with our family. We invite you to take this opportunity to implement an activity that will bring great satisfaction: shared reading.

In the previous blog, we saw that, if we read with our children and talk about what we read, we could obtain academic and social benefits (improve self-esteem, empathy and social support). Here we tell you how to implement shared reading.

Read daily

We know that shared reading, like many other things that are good for us, requires to be incorporated into our routine: something we do on a daily basis. Something as essential as having breakfast or brushing our teeth. It is enough that we read with our children for 5 minutes every day, to obtain positive effects.

Read calmly

To enjoy reading, we have to be in the present. Not thinking about what we need to do next, nor what we have done before. It is essential that we choose a quiet place, away from the screens and telephones that constantly demand our attention. Advance in the story, as you read and talk about what happens in the text and in the images.

Start small

As many other improvements introduced to our routines -such as eating healthy or jogging- to read together we also have to start small. We recommend starting with an illustrated story that takes about 5 to read, followed by 5 minutes of conversation.

Read like if it was a game

In order for us to enjoy shared reading, we have to do it as a game, not like some more homework. We propose to play based on the reading, inventing songs where you see fit, repeating rhymes or doing dances or movements based on a shared story.

Read comfortably

It is enough to spread a blanket on the floor, surround ourselves with cushions or pillows to accommodate us with our children in a sofa or any other place to enjoy reading together. Whatever the location, keep it simple, with as few distracting elements as possible. Favor well-lit spaces, with the curtains or blinds open, or near a window to enjoy natural light. If you are reading under a blanket or 'cave', use a flashlight to add mystery and something special to the experience.

Arrange the story to the child's level

Install the story to that you are going to read at the children's eye level. For this, it is important that we kneel or crouch until we are in a place where the sight of our children resides. When reading, hold the book or screen (if it is a digital book) close to the children's focus, close enough for him to see, smell, and touch.

Bring the story closer to your life

Change pieces of the story (for example, the names of the characters or the names of the places) to make as if the book is about your family, some anecdote they have had, or your children or someone they know.

In summary, to carry out shared reading, it is necessary to incorporate it into our routine, starting small, reading like if it was a game, comfortably, sharing the book with the children and bringing the story closer to our lives. By following these tips, we will enjoy this experience and obtain the benefits described in the previous blog.

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