Reading with TVOKids

Storytime is the best time of the day to have fun with your preschooler and to pinpoint any problems he or she is having as they begin to learn to read. The Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network offers the following Storytime Checklist:

Answer Yes or No to the following:

Your child:

  • Listens to the story being read.
  • Looks at the illustrations.
  • Comments on the illustrations.
  • Follows along as the pages turn.
  • Asks questions at least two times during the story.
  • Answers questions at least two times during the story.
  • Asks questions at least two times after the story is over 
  • Answers questions at least two times after the story is over.
  • Points to the front and back of the book when asked.
  • Retells the story in his own words when asked.
  • Points to a word or letter when asked.

How to use the checklist:

  • Use the checklist to follow your child’s progress over one month. Keep a record on how your child’s skills are developing over that time. Any struggles should be noted and brought up with your child’s doctor. There could be an issue that needs assessment by a professional.
  • If your child is not listening or paying attention to the story, it could be that she is not interested in the type of story. Try to pick stories with characters and topics that interest your child. 
  • If you are reading books with characters and topics that should interest your child and he is still not paying attention and can not retell the story afterward, take your concerns to your child’s doctor.
  • Use the checklist to record how your child is progressing with his or her speech and language skills. Is she retelling the story in her own words? Can he answer questions about the story? If you are really concerned that your child isn’t hitting speech milestones, have your child assessed by a speech language pathologist. 
  • If your child is not pointing to words or letters when asked, they may be too young or not ready yet. Do not push your child. Reading time should be fun.

Doing simple exercises like the Storytime Checklist can help you spot problems quickly. Even if there isn’t a problem, it doesn’t hurt to get the opinion of a professional.