The three most frequently asked questions to the NCBLA are:
1. What is the best thing I can do to help my child be ready for school?
2. What are the best books to read aloud to my child?
3. When should I start reading aloud to my child?
The answers, in order, are:
1. The best thing you can do to prepare your child for school is to create a language enriched home—talk and sing to your baby, toddler, and preschooler; turn off the screens in your home, look at each other and have family conversations at mealtimes, on the beach, in the car, in the grocery story, at athletic events and activities; take your young children to parks, playgrounds, and museums and talk with them about the experience; and of great importance, read books aloud with your baby, toddler, and preschooler. After you have read the book, talk to your child about the story and pictures. Try to find time to read to your child every day!
2. The best books to read aloud to your young child are ones that are age and personality appropriate, that build on your child’s interests and expand his or her universe. The children’s librarian at your local neighborhood library will be thrilled to help you find the right books for your child. And below we provide several links to great lists of age appropriate books for your baby, toddler, and preschooler.
3. When should you start reading books aloud to your child? The day he or she is born! And don’t stop reading aloud when your child becomes an independent reader—“big kids” still love to have Mom and Dad take the time to read to them, too!
NCBLA Parent/Guardian Handbook: http://www.thencbla.org/PTMpages/parents/parenthandbook.html
Websites that provide great read-aloud tips for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers and websites with great book suggestions for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers: