Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: What are some tips for reading with preschoolers?
Rene Hackney: Preschoolers with reading aloud you want to encourage them to choose the books, so that the more they are choosing the more they are wanting to be read to. They are choosing based on their interest, It is also a nice time to start using homemade books. Homemade books are where the child tells you a story and by preschool they can tell you crazy stories and so you write down one sentence per page and then have the child draw the pictures that goes with that page and you bind it, we just take a look down one side and they have made their own book.
In our house those have been favorites. We actually, one year when had laminated the cover and the back of the book, so that they have something they could keep and those are really a nice way for preschoolers. As they get to be four and five years old, you want to really vary the length and the material. Children who are ready for it are really ready for it; they are ready to look at the dictionary and at thesaurus and reference books and math book. So that they are learning that there is a much wider range of books available.
You might also think not just the picture book you are reading, but also history books or biographies, opening their doors on what is available and would be read to aloud. If your children happen to like a particular type of book like you find they like, wow, science fiction then really go at it get a lot of different science fiction books, so they can be interested in that more in depth. It is also nice if they like a particular author or an illustrator to find more books by that author and to talk about the things that they write about or if they find a particular illustrator you can go to the front of the book and somewhere it says how those pictures were made and so you can discuss that process. You might even have been able to get those material, so the child can use them themselves or just get more books by that illustrator.