Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reading to kids

Once upon a time, when I was expecting my third child (so before the birth of this blog), I used to read to my son and daughter one hour every day. Minimum.

Gabbers was just a year and a half at the time with a very short attention span. Mostly she was interested in eating the books. It was difficult to get through a book with her before she’d pull it out of my hands.

Reading time usually ended up being with just my three year old Pookie on my lap, or rather the side of my lap, and reading book after book after book, while Gabbers had usually hopped down at that point and was crawling around seeking and destroying and eating books.

Our home is filled with books. Before Pookie was born, I joined a book club to get him all the classic Dr. Seuss books.  One of the books we got from the hospital in our goodie bag when he was born was called, Read to Me by Jackie Leavitt (Governor Mike Leavitt's wife).  I got the message.  Reading to my child is important.  I still have that book memorized.  It has long since fallen apart from having read it several times per week through the first three kids.

Before Pookie had a single toy, he had a dozen books.

I started reading to him at less than a few weeks old. I was frustrated when he’d fall asleep while I read to him. I read him board books and Dr. Seuss books every day. And the last book of each reading session was a chapter of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

Did you know that children younger than fourth grade have an amazing ability to memorize?

Take advantage of it.

I found that when I read to my oldest and spent just a little time every day helping him memorize things like his planets, U.S. presidents, 50 states and capitals, scriptures, pledge of allegiance, etc, he had less tantrums and oodles of confidence.

I am particularly excited today because our school supplies just arrived. I’m jumping into full-time homeschooling again. Well, as soon as I figure out where to put all these new books. I can’t wait for the look on Pookie’s face when he comes in from the playground and sees what arrived.

*I am an Amazon Associate and receive a 4% referral reward for any purchases made through these direct links.
This post is linked to WFMW at We are THAT family.


Teachinfourth said...

Rock on you for reading to your kids. I wish that all parents would do that.

Cynthia said...

A love of books is a wonderful thing to develop in children. My Hubs only reads for work purposes- he never learned to enjoy the pleasure that can be found in a good story. As a result, he's VERY good at what he does for work but doesn't follow storylines and plots well. I don't want our kids to be in that boat so we read a lot too.

And good for you on the homeschooling thing.

Lady Why said...

Yay, reading to your kids!! There is nothing that builds a stronger educational foundation than memorization and having LOADS of books read to them before they are readers themselves. Great post!

Gwen Toliver said...

We spend lots and lots of time reading at our house too - I've been blessed with 7 beautiful children and one thing I've determined to do is to have one on one time reading with each of them every day. Even the older ones that are highly proficient readers - we go through long chapter books together - it's great bonding time, plus we're learning together. Thanks for this great post!!

Em and Lib said...

Totally agree - mine LURVE it! it's not bedtime without a book. And it's hardly morning without a book. They see me reading constantly and I started a summer reading race which has been an amazing!

JoMamma said...

Books are so amazing. Goodluck with getting ready for homeschool. I wish I had half of your energy.

Ashley said...

We LOVE books at our house, too. Whenever asked for a gift to give the kids, I always suggest books.

'Becca said...

I agree, reading to kids is great! My dad read to my brother and me every night until I was in high school, and it was wonderful on so many levels. Now I read to my 5-year-old every day, and I'm loving the chance to enjoy all my favorite children's books again!


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