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Guide for Dads: Give Children a Choice for Read-Aloud Books

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By - George Jacobs, Ph.D. and Wan Loh Inn, Ed.D.   Print
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One phrase to keep in mind is “Follow in order to lead.” In other words, dads need to observe and listen to children in order to better lead them to enjoy reading. One way to follow children in

order to lead them is to involve them in choosing the books that you read to them. A good starting place is to consider what books the child has enjoyed in the past. Some children, such as Wan Inn’s

two oldest children Joanne and Julian, would read anything that they could lay their hands on, and any place was a good place to read - from the bedroom to the restroom - with books hidden

strategically in the restroom and bedroom closet for reading.


Other children may only be interested in books on a particular topic, in a particular series or by a particular author. Don’t worry if your children exhibit strong preferences and aversions. Dads should be happy that the children are reading even if they are stuck reading a particular type of book. After a while, they can influence them to try something new by reading aloud a different type of book. Jason, Wan Inn’s youngest, was only interested in books on insects and other animals. It was a challenge to try and influence him to read other types of books or read aloud to him other types of books. However, perseverance is the key and one may be pleasantly surprised to find the child curled up reading an unexpected book. With Jason, this happened in his early teens when he suddenly became interested in books awarded the Pulitzer or Booker awards!


Give books a pilot test at the library or bookstore by reading aloud a bit of it so that you and the children can judge your reaction to the book. This pilot testing prepares children for the day when they will be choosing books on their own for silent reading.


Letting children have a voice boosts their self-esteem and gives them a feeling of control. Additionally, children will be more eager to listen to books that they had a hand in choosing. If dads feel that children have not chosen wisely, they can gently inform them of why they believe a particular book is not the best choice.


If dads think a child will like a particular book, they should show enthusiasm for it and explain why you like the book and why you think the child will like it. Their enthusiasm for that particular

book and for reading in general can be infectious.


Books can be selected based on something that happened during the day or something that is coming up in the children’s lives. For instance, reading the book My Art & Craft Class before children go to

such a class for the first time prepares children for the new experience and may overcome their fears.


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.



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Article List
Guide for Dads: Final Words – JUST DO IT !
Guide for Dads: Key Points to Remember About Reading Aloud
Guide for Dads: The Technical Side of Book Creation
Guide for Dads: Children Making Their Own Books (Starting from Scratch)
Guide for Dads: Children Making Their Own Books (Starting from Other Books)
Guide for Dads: Why Children Should Be Encouraged to Make Their Own Books
Guide for Dads: Teaching About Language Through Reading Aloud
Children Reading Aloud With Us
Guide for Dads: Getting Children to Comment and Question During Read Aloud
Guide for Dads: Making Predictions are Fun
Guide for Dads: Ask Questions, but Don’t Make Reading Aloud Into a Test
Guide for Dads: Don’t Forget the Illustrations
Guide for Dads: Get a New Book If It’s Not Working, or “Change” the Book

1 2 3 4 NEXT
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