Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time to Read

I love reading, always have.

I want for my kids to love reading.

Books can take you so many wonderful places. They help to foster imagination. They help to strengthen reasoning and comprehension skills. They entertain. They educate.

When they were little (not that they are that big!), I felt that reading to them each day and each night at bedtime was a good way to spend time with them and to plant the seeds for the joy and wonder of books. We started with the basic story books that everyone does. We read Goodnight Moon almost every night. During the day, it was more of a mix with some favorites including the Foot Book, Where Is Baby's Belly Button?, and The ABC Book.

As the kids got older, we continued to read each day but started to introduce them to early chapter books. One that we have read a few times already is the Adventures of Edward Tulane. I think my son was 3 when we read it to him the first time.

Hearing them in their room or watching them "read" a book is one of the most precious things in the world. Realizing that they know the story well enough to know what words are on each page, is really amazing to me. Of course, I find it cute when they would pull out a chapter book and flip through the pages "reading" aloud with their own made up tale.

Even as my son began to read, we would encourage him to read his books on his own, but would continue to read together each night at bedtime. As much for the time together, as for the continuing support of the love for reading. I have enjoyed reading books like the Magic Tree House Series and we are currently on the third book of the 39 Clues series. With my daughter, we have started reading some of the Ramona Books and Cam Jansen mysteries. I'm excited to soon share with her the Little House books and the Anne of Green Gables series.

I think that to further reinforce that reading is something that you can do forever and that you can want to read, I think that it is important that we read around them too. When I was younger (i.e. before I had kids) I would read all day long. Anytime I had five minutes to spare, I would sneak in a few pages. Unfortunately, as life has gotten busier and crazier, I haven't made the time to read like I used to. It started to be that if I read, it was at bedtime only (if I could stay awake!). Now, sure my kids see the changing book on my bedside, but they weren't actually seeing me read.

As they are getting older, it is a little easier for me to find time to read for myself. I can now actually read a good amount of my weekend morning newspapers in the morning. When we go on car trips, I can read a book or magazine in the car, while they read, color, or write in the back seat. When it is a nice afternoon and they are playing outside, usually I join them, but sometimes I just grab a book and sit on the porch or deck and read, while I watch them play together or with the neighbors. Now that I longer have to participate in swimming lessons, I get to read for the 45 minutes that the kids are in class. It's not uninterrupted, but I certainly read. Having more time to read feels almost like a luxury to me.

On Sunday, I actually spent 3 hours just reading. The kids watched a movie and played some games and I read. The book was just that good that I wanted to keep reading. Sure, I was interrupted to get breakfast and to start shows and grab some tissues for me, but I read for 3 whole hours! It was wonderful!

You can see what books I have been reading lately on my reading list, which links back to my review of most of the books. I hope to share about Night Road by Kristin Hannah, which I spent the three hours finishing on Sunday, soon.

Want to let your kids earn some free books? Right now, you can go to Scholastic and learn how your child can earn up to 5 free books from Scholastic and Kumon.

    Scholastic and Kumon have partnered to encourage the development of reading and math skills and unlock your child's learning potential. Your child can complete MATH and READING activities and earn up to five FREE BOOKS from Scholastic!

We just had my son do the worksheets and sent them off for his free books.

This post shared at Works for Me Wednesday.