Instead of using another book as a starting point, dads can help children develop more independent book ideas. Here are two suggestions:
Now that dads have discussed finding topics for books, what about actually writing them. How much of the writing should children do? The answer is: As much as they can. The principle is to make the book the children’s book as much as possible. For example, even if dads do all the writing and most of the drawing, children can help supply ideas and color the drawings.
We want to be a facilitator. We want to children to develop their thinking, speaking, writing, and artistic ability to the greatest extent possible. We can do whatever children cannot. We can also offer suggestions, ask questions to prod thinking, help with vocabulary and grammar, and give lots and lots of encouragement.
Of course, writing is not easy, even when children use another book as a model. Writing is not easy for adults either. Let’s start small and start simple, and cherish small victories. Just one page is fine.
Dad reminder: You can start to read to your kids at ANY age. It’s fun for the kids and dad. It really is a dad duty!
- George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.
Dr. George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Dr. Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D. are the authors of many books (including “The Read Aloud Guide”, textbooks for teachers and students, curriculum guides, and children’s storybooks).
Find out more about reading aloud to your kids.