Learning to read is in full swing around here with a bright 3.5 & 6-year-old, each at their own level. Our children seem to have a love of books and reading, which is a gift in itself. We try to spend time reading every day. We read books with pictures and without. They especially love having us read chapter books where we all snuggle in and imagine the story Mom or Dad is reading aloud.
Our 6-year-old is in kindergarten and took to reading a few weeks in; soaking up phonics and blends alike. One essential piece of reading, one that is particularly challenging for young minds, is actually understanding what’s going on in a story. Reading comprehension is equally as important as knowing what the words say and it’s a difficult thing to master.
One way to help new readers begin to comprehend their books is to discuss it after or even throughout. This allows you to see what they are taking in and what they missed. When we ask them questions about the page they just read, children begin to understand the trope of thinking one should utilize when reading. In addition to an open dialogue, I am a firm believer in reading aloud to assist with comprehension. It forces children to use their imagination and process the story instead of just read the words, letter after letter.
While we all enjoy family reading time together, we sometimes will listen to books on tape in the car for a long trip. Recently we were introduced to Story Pirates and reading will never be the same in our family.
If you haven’t heard of Story Pirates it’s a podcast for kids that take stories written children and performs them in a totally engaging way. I’m not sure if it’s the Broadway-like performance or the comical and energetic vibe between each story but Story Pirates is absolutely captivating! Our oldest giggles throughout the stories and is visually engaged with the story the entire time. He loves the songs and thinks it’s hysterical.
I’ve noticed a dramatic change in his reading since he started listening to these podcasts. He seems to be more fluid and animated which is adorable and impressive. He also seems to be thinking about what he’s reading more seamlessly. I was thrilled to find the podcast as a fun and hip new way to sneak some reading-type fun into our car trips and lazy mornings but I had no idea we’d benefit so much from it. I truly believe that the energy in Story Pirates has directly improved his comprehension and fluidity when reading and for that, I am grateful and a forever fan.
Do yourself a favor and check out this podcast here.
Oh! And download the coloring book, it’s been fun to hear him retell the stories as they color the book.