Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Read To Them

Once upon a time...  All three of my children were born within 1.5 years of each other which means that they are in a similar age range with similar interests. This made reading to the babies easier because the books were interesting to all of them.

Reading in our big king-sized bed became a nightly ritual even before the babies could read.  It was a time for everyone to come together for some quiet time before bed but it didn't always stay quiet time as the children grew older.  Sometimes we would simply be dissolved with laughter and goofing around.  But mostly it was a good way to wind down the hyper-energy of little kids at the end of the day.

I attribute my children's success in school and life to their early introduction to the skills of reading.  After all, everything they will be challenged with involves reading and comprehension skills.

Once the kids got older and began learning to read I would have them take turns reading out loud and would assign them roles to play in each story.  My very favorite series of stories for the younger ones were the "Hank the Cowdog" stories.  These provide lots of opportunities for dialect, inflection, and just plain silliness!

The "Wayside School" stories were also big hits.  Read anything and everything to your children; do not underestimate their abilities to understand.  Mine were able to enjoy Edgar Allen Poe stories at about 4th grade level.  Expand their vocabulary and don't be afraid to admit that you don't know the definition of a word - just go look it up.

There were times when books that were assigned to them in school became our reading material.  This gave us a chance to discuss the books and gave them practice in reading comprehension.  And it taught them that reading is not just a solitary activity but can be interactive as well.

It's trite but true, reading is the key to everything (OK, maybe math too) and reading together as a family gives everyone time to relax, engage in some serious snuggling and many memorable times together.  Bonding at it's best!

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