Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kids and reading

I am a HUGE reader. Insatiable. Everything and anything. Husband had only read one book in his life when I met him - the untouchables, and only because he had to for school.
I come from a family of huge readers, husband does not. Different priorities, different backgrounds, different experiences.
But husband makes me fall in love with him over, and over, and over again. He didn't just read occasionally to our first daughter as a baby, he made a nightly ritual of it. And he'll tell anyone who will listen about the benefits of reading to your kids. I know our second daughter will enjoy that special Daddy/daughter time just as much when she is old enough to have routine bedtimes. For now, reading is part of our household playtime, and will progress to bedtimes as well later.
Miss M loves to read as much as me, and can found with her nose in a book as often as possible.
My tips for encouraging a love of  literacy in your kids?
-Let them see you reading for pleasure. They are such monkeys, they imitate everything, and if you read for pleasure it will be the norm
-Read from an early age. I read to my daughters in the womb! Its great bonding for you both
-Re-read fun books over and over. As they get familiar, they will be able to imitate reading very early by memorising the book.
-Once you have a routine bedtime in place, have some reading time together every night before bed
-Keep sharing reading time, even once they are old enough to read themselves. They love to read aloud to you, and its years before they stop enjoying being read to and prefer the privacy of their own minds.
-Spend regular time at the library just for the hell of it. We don't even go to borrow (I'm hopeless at returning). We go just to chill out and have quiet dedicated us/reading time. Sometimes Lolly is awake and shares it with us, other times its just me and Miss M sitting on the cushions reading together while Lolly snoozes. And since the library is free, there are worse things to do with my time.
-Early literacy is helped by showing your baby an item (ie ball), then a flash card with the word ball, then the flipside with a picture of a ball. Talk about the item, it helps them to connect funny squiggles with a real life meaning.
-Choose from the timeless books as well as the newer contemporary ones. Theres a reason they are still on the shelf. Our favourites that will last your kidlet from baby through to early primary school years?
I hope Lolly loves reading as much as Miss M does. For now, I'll leave you with a video of Miss M reading "Theres a monster at the end of this book" when she was 3. Just because its cute.


Do you have any seriously awesome book recommendations for me? I will read anything.

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