MINT HILL, NC – Making connections is an important skill that helps your reader make sense of and retain new information. As parents, we can help our children learn how to make connections to what they are reading based on the background knowledge that they bring from their lives to the story. When we help our children understand their own background knowledge that they are bringing to the stories they read, it helps them to make connections. Readers can make connections to what they have experienced in their own lives, what they have read in other stories or what they have learned from the world around them. It’s a good practice to model how to use background knowledge and make connections during story time with your child. For example, while reading a story with your child, stop at a point in the story where a personal connection can be made. Tell your child what this part of the story reminds you of in your own life. Not only are you modeling how to use background knowledge, your child is getting to know you better. When background knowledge is activated it helps your child retain new information. This is why it is important for children to learn by relating what they are learning to what they already know. It is difficult to retain isolated information. When our children learn how to make connections and use their background knowledge to help them to understand what they are reading, they become engaged, excited readers.