Aunty Aidan on Supporting Literary Independence

Dear Aunty Aidan,

This is so exciting: my child has begun to read on their own! How can I support this effort?

Pillar of Books 


Dear Pillar,

Congratulations to your child and celebratory hurrahs to you – a whole new world has opened! I am pleased to find that you consider your “work” to be that of a buttress, brace, and undergird. Your job is to provide the materials – books of interest and pleasure at the appropriate reading level, which is usually a notch lower than their  instructional level. 

Your child will also need a space - a well-lit, quiet, comfy nook, free of noisy noises and intruding parental questions (ahem). And let them choose a time - after dinner, before bedtime - to read leisurely on their own. You should continue to read to them, to model by reading yourself, to talk about what you’ve read and to tell them a word they don’t know. (Leave the instruction to the professionals.) 

Oh joy, watch the pillar of books increase in height!

Aunty Aidan 

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