The importance of reading to our children does not end as soon as they learn how to read themselves. In fact, reading to them is even more crucial at this point. They need to hear the rhythm, syntax and fluency at which mature reading is eloquted. They need to know to pause at commas and rest at periods. Words need to flow and there needs to be intonation in the voice.
It’s an art.
We began reading to our children from birth. I even have video of us reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to Juliano at 9 weeks old.
Now, we read together as a family. Either in the morning or before bed. And it’s okay for them to be keeping their hands busy either, building a puzzle, playing Lego, drawing or playing playdough. As long as they are quiet, I don’t mind. I think our brains work better when our hands are moving.
Now don’t think for one minute we have this picture perfect scene of me reading and my children at my feet listening intently. Often, it’s more like squabbling, interrupting and restlessness; often from my 8 year old. It’s a practice. I’m training him to not only listen but following the story line.
After reading a chapter or two, it’s a good time to reflect on what we just heard; make some inferences and predictions.
A discussion ensues.
Our first summer read is:
The BFG by Roald Dahl. It’s a classic and our family loves Dahl’s twisted humour. I told the kids we must read the book before we go see the movie, because that’s the way it should go right?
A great blog that talks about reading out loud to children is:
She has a fabulous podcast as well.
What will you be reading to your kids this summer?