I often hear from parents their read-aloud time too often ends up being that same ol’ book. “Again and again and again,” they say.
“She knows the story,” says the parent. “So she just makes up the words.” And then the questions, “How’s that reading aloud? What’s to be done about that same ol’ book?”
To which I have a one-word response: “Excellent!”
Repetition is great!
Yep, she’s learned the story from all those repetitions. And her knowing the story and making up the words tells you that she’s taking those words and ideas as her own. Yes, this child’s telling us, those words and ideas are important, important enough that she wants to speak them…to communicate those ideas she’s heard in that story.
Retelling is even better...
Oh, let’s delve a tad further here. Do her words make sense? Do her words resemble that story the two of you read again and again? If so, she’s retelling that story she’s heard you read.
WOW! She’s showing you important stuff! She’s learning a reading comprehension skill that’s very important all along her journey toward becoming that super reader you and she hope for her. We might also say your child is summarizing, another essential reading comprehension skill, one that teachers teach and reteach and reteach again. Week after week after week!
When your child tells you the story he’s heard you read over and over, he’s just confirming to you his understanding of what he’s heard. Now, all he needs from you is affirmation.
Try comments like “Wow! You know that whole story!” or “What a great story! I liked hearing you tell that story.”
And look what’s happening because of all that reading aloud you’ve been doing! Your child is on the way to becoming a fabulously successful reader!
Way to go, Mom! Good show, Dad! Keep it up, Grandma! Read it again, Auntie! WOW!