A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog post about reading aloud to my daughter, and some of the things I realized it did to help her. I’m pretty passionate about reading with my kids, and it’s not the first time I’ve written on the topic. (See some other reflections on reading with them here and here for example).
Maybe the most important point in my recent post was about sentence structure. I argued that it was like vocabulary–that just as kids need to be familiar with thousands of words, they need to be familiar with hundreds of types of sentences, to be able to follow the syntax and make them sound natural in their minds as they read. Call it “sentence vocabulary” if you want.
Anyway, the post prompted an unexpected response. Several people wrote and asked if I would consider trying to write something similar but directly to parents. The ideas, I guess, were useful, but the writing was too indirect or bloggy or geeky or something. They wanted a re-write.
I only give advice to other parents with hesitation–actually I generally avoid giving any advice to other parents–because, among other things, I’m not a parenting expert, I’m just a dad. But I care a lot about the issue so I decided to give it a shot. It took me a while but my first draft is ready. It’s pretty rough still and so in part I am posting it because I’d love feedback from blog readers on how to make it better. But in the meantime here it is in case it’s useful: [It’s a pdf for now; click the link below to see it.]