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Sharing memories and books this summer

Share memories and books with your child to improve comprehension is an excerpt from Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty.

Summer family picnic
Summer family picnic
public domain
Reading and Special Memories with Books
R. R. Cratty

Share memories and books with your child to improve comprehension

When parents trigger background knowledge they can improve their child’s reading comprehension.

Reading comprehension depends upon prior knowledge, we take from a book what we bring to the book. Our children need many prior knowledge experiences before they become expert readers. Fortunately, this is one of the joys of sharing books with our children. Talking about our background knowledge, sharing stories and memories all become building blocks to deeper comprehension. This is an easy, cozy, way to keep in touch with your child while sharing a book.

Building Background knowledge requires only your memories and a book of your choice.

You will be helping your child to relate a new book to prior world knowledge and/or personal experience-your connections take three forms.

Text-to-Self - When text or pictures remind you of your life. (This story reminds me of when we visited Grandma. Like Red, we took a basket of cookies.) Create a connection from something in your child’s life, a memory you both have.

Text-to-Text -When text or pictures remind you of another book or passage. (This story reminds me of another book we read. Both Red and the Three Pigs have wolves in them.) Create a connection of something your child has read, seen or heard.

Text-to-World -When text or pictures remind you of some information that you know about the world. (The wolf in this story reminds me of an article I read about the introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park…Later, I will see if I can find it.) Create a connection beyond your child’s life, the broader world…a bigger idea. It could be a connection to the news, a movie, television program, song or a wonderful painting.

This is your chance to show your child that reading goes far beyond the written page. As you read together, you wonder, understand stories, and share sweet family memories. This is the time to make connection to the world, to those comical incidents, and heartbreaking losses. Their comprehension in what they read and their world will reach new depth by relating something new to what they already know. Simply by talking, you will be sharing how you think when you read. As parents and teachers we never say, “Remember to use your background knowledge.” Instead, we encourage children to use background naturally. As we read and reflect about our own personal experiences making our own connections.

Reading and Special Memories with Books

-Of course, there are wonderful books with cuddly animals.

-When you are traveling you and your child can explore books about the area.

-Sharing sports books with your little athlete after you see a game.

-Share your princess and pirate’s favorite books while baking cookies.

-Match books with special dinners.

-Reading a book then sharing the movie based on the book.

-You can share your favorite book from your childhood.

Today is the perfect time not only to introduce the love of reading to your child but also to pick up the habit again, yourself.

You do so much every day; you deserve a small amount of time to enjoy reading yourself!

Cozy down and share memories and books with your special child.

-Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty is a parent resource, filled with ideas to help children become the best they can be. Daily activities for family fun, that make subjects become more than pencil and paper, moving learning into everyday life. Learning at home can be purchased in print ($8.48) or eBook($4.48) form through

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