Thursday, March 21, 2013

Do You Celebrate Reading Month?

Do you celebrate Reading Month during March with your kids?  Reading is one of the best bonding opportunities we can have with our kids - when else do they stop moving and actually listen to what you are saying?  When else do you have a chance to focus your full attention on them and the questions they may ask?  It doesn't matter whether its a small book that only takes a few minutes to read or a few chapters of a larger book - taking even 5 minutes to read to your child every day can make a huge difference.

I have always read to my kids in many different ways.  With my daughter, I read every night before bed.  I would read with my finger following the words on the page.  At first she would recognize the cadence of my words and babble along.  As she learned to speak new words, she started to memorize them and eventually recognized certain letters that started a repeat word in the book.  As she got to know our "regular" stories, I sometimes paused when I knew she knew the next word by either sight or the memorized story and let her "read" the words.  Pretty soon she would sit and "read" the story to herself.  She might not have known all the words from sight but by memorizing the story and then recognizing letters she could figure out pretty well when to turn the page. 

Although I don't have as much time to devote to it with my son as I did my daughter, she now reads to him and he is read to at childcare every day.  I also encourage my kids to take a book to bed when they aren't ready to settle down but its bedtime or nap time.  My son doesn't have the attention span with books that my daughter did but he has a lot of fun recognizing the letters in certain names so we make a game out of spotting certain letters on signs on the road or in the store - for instance, pulling in the Walmart parking lot he might yell "that's W for William".  That's building reading skills too.

Tonight my project is to make oodles of banana pudding and cut templates for drawing Curious George faces to use at our daycare's Curious George Reading Month family party.  The center and local schools have many fun activities planned throughout March to help make reading fun.  I'll be posting more after our event but here is a look back at the event we hosted last year.

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