Reading. It is the single most talked about thing in current culture.
“Can your infant read?” “When will my preschooler read?” “Why can’t my second grader read?” “My friend has a child with dyslexia and she can’t read more than a sentence without a headache.”
Each day, reading seems to be more of a focus. It is amazing how much we learn from reading. It is how all learning is set up in the 21st century. On line classes, story problems for first graders and on it goes. A love of reading develops at an early age. Here are some quick tips for developing a love of reading in your family.
Turn off the tube– Hard as it might be, that babysitter is creating an antithesis of reading (the opposite). It is stealing the time, attention and imagination away from your child. Create limited TV time and more time for books. How about that time just before dinner. When your little(s) are cranky and all you want is to make your dinner without totally freaking out!! I hear ya! Go to step 2….
Have books around– That’s right, just laying around. Maybe a small basket in the kitchen while you are cooking dinner. Maybe have two baskets. One with fun pictures, textures, wheels to turn and nobs to push, poop books (kids love gross stuff) and one with beautiful pictures where they can make up the stories. Your little Moe or Mia can sit and play with texture books, or your preschooler can show you all the tractors in the farm book. While this may be a change of pace for your family, the creativity and memories they have with you and books will spark the love of books needed for success.
Make reading fun– After dinner clean up is done, have Moe or Mia pick out their favorite story book. Then read it. Just one. Use crazy voices, loud, soft, grandma, baritone and mousy. When your children laugh they are reducing stress and bonding with you. Did I mention this is a great way to create lasting memories?
Let book time be a benefit– Book time at our house is a, “I got to stay up later than my bedtime,” privileged. When we loose book time, there are tears and great sadness. Loosing book time is the end all and worst way to go to sleep in the Crawmer home. Why? When bedtime is 7:45 and you can stay up until 8:15 reading books, as a child you feel in control. Each book you get to read, “past bedtime,” is another notch in your belt. Then mom or dad comes in and will read your favorite story of the night. This does lead to an 8:30/:45 bedtime in our house and we now have all of our children reading.
Bring them everywhere– Road trip? Bring books. Airplane ride? Bring books. Going to lunch with friends and your child? Bring books. The Dentist? Bring books. Reading takes us to new places. Books have a way of changing our perspective on life. Let the iphone and tablets take a rest and let the books come out of their nest.
Children read when their skills are ready. Children speak when they are ready. These things can not be forced. Introduce your child to a world of reading and be excited about new books coming into your life. Let reading with your children become a lifestyle choice that leads your family to a road of success… the success of reading.