Reading is important…but I think you know that since you are reading a blog about it <grin>!!
But do you read TO your children, even when they are older?? We do in our house! Why?? Because it is a great thing to do together! But where do you begin? Here are my thoughts…
When you have really little ones, don’t wait until they are bigger…start right away! There are amazing books out there for really little ones…fun board books that are meant to be loved and enjoyed! They have a few words to give the child the wonderful sound of the parent’s voice…but they can also have bright colours, touchy feely spots…something for all five sense! It is so amazing to watch little ones as they take in the books…it is just the beginning of their journey to reading!
For preschoolers, there are SO MANY excellent books out there for a parent to read to your child…but this is where you may find the attention span can be all over the place…that is okay…they are just getting the hang of listening and it could take a bit of practice. Usborne has a great series that helps them step into reading slowly, with a few little tricks. The series is called “Farmyard Tales” and has some neat features. The first is that each story (there are 20 of them, all taking place in and around Apple Tree Farm) begins the same…”This is Mrs. Boot the Farmer. She has two children called Poppy and Sam and a dog called Rusty” (typed from my memory <grin>)….and so they can pretty much join in and help mom and dad get the story going! And you will find that the main characters are going to show up over and over again…kids love that! And one more thing that is fun…there is a little yellow duck to find on every page…just the thing to help your child have something to do while listening to you read! This was the highlight for my kids, for sure!
What about reading to school age children? Do you stop when they can read themselves? No! We continue to read aloud here and our girls are in Grade 4, 9 and 12! It is a fun family thing to do…but it is also helping to build their listening skills, something definitely needed in life. And reading books above your child’s reading level (but something they have an interest in) can only help improve their vocabulary and interest in the subject. Another advantage to reading aloud rather than reading silently? As a parent, you can stop and discuss things along the way that you would not have had the opportunity to do if your child were in his room reading by himself. We have had some excellent conversations which began by reading a chapter in a book.
And don’t be afraid to switch it up sometimes…maybe read a magazine article or poetry (rhyming ones are good for little ones) or different Advent type books before Christmas, etc…what are some of YOUR favourite books to read as a family? Enjoy them this week!
Photo Credits: edenpictures (Creative Commons license on Flickr)