Articles and Topics
My 4-year-old memorizes books instead of reading them
Q: My 4-year-old daughter is memorizing her children’s books instead of reading them. Is it important for her to start learning how to read, or will this come about in time?
A: What your daughter is doing is reading the way most 4-year-olds read, by memorizing and telling the story. She is also demonstrating that you have established the good practice of reading the same story often enough to allow her to enter it into her memory. Rather than worry about it, I would encourage this behaviour. So many children’s books now have wonderful artwork, and one can almost tell the story without ever reading the words. I would take her to the library regularly and let her choose books she wants. In addition, you can choose two or three in which the story line is essentially carried by the pictures. In one of your reading sessions, ask her if she would like to “read” the story to you before you read the printed words. If she wants to, let her “read” it without any help or corrections unless she asks. She may ask you to read it once before she tackles the assignment.

Don’t ruin reading for your daughter by trying to teach her the letters and words as you read to her. Wait for her signal, which will be pointing to a word and asking, “What is that?”