As the new school year unfolds the students and teachers at Forestdale School are busy and painstakingly developing routines and behaviors that will optimize an environment conducive to inquiry and learning.  A huge part of establishing routines is developing and adhering to a consistent schedule.  Just as when your child was an infant – you had your routines and schedules for sleeping, eating, playing – you can do the same for reading.Image result for public photos of families reading

We, at the Forestdale School, encourage reading together on a nightly basis. This means using rich read alouds such as nursery rhymes, fairy tales, old classics and new, fiction and nonfiction. Books with repetitive text or rhyming are also fun so that your child may join in with the reading. It often times will be a reread of a favorite – as that brings comfort to your child – “Books are old friends that you can visit often!” Just as the photo above indicates…it is a time for getting cozy and enjoying a book together.  This creates a strong bond of trust, communication and wonder. It is a time for talking and listening and learning from each other.  It does not need to be a book that your child can read themselves…you take over that part of the equation – to free up your child to listen, enjoy, think, and talk about the book. Taking a look at the illustrations and diagrams and talking about the decisions that the author and illustrator made contributes to the overall comprehension and understanding of the story. By setting aside this important nightly ritual you are elevating “Storytime” to a position of importance in your family’s belief system.   Don’t forget to let them see you reading, too, as you are an important role model.  Whether you are a book person, a kindle person, a sports page person, or someone who actually reads the directions before taking on a new project person, you are showing your child how we use reading in our everyday lives and again that reading is important.  If you don’t have access to books in your home, then Sandwich Public Library can help. Library cards are free and their collection is amazing.  You can also contact your child’s teacher or the Literacy Coaches in the building – Donna Eident and Patti Leary and we can help out with books as well.  We are here to support and encourage you! We truly believe that you are never too young to start this reading routine and never too old to stop!