Monday, January 23, 2017
Monday Musing: Raising a Reader
Monday Musings is a weekly post in which I talk about whatever I would like to talk about. Often it's book related. Sometimes it's not.
I have a three and a half year old. She likes a lot of things--including books. Now, she's still three and has a lot of energy and there are plenty of times when I suggest a book and she very adamantly says, "NO!" We're working on those manners.
Despite her very rambunctious personality and her strong will, we manage to get reading into our lives on a daily basis. We have made sure to emphasize that reading is a part of our lives every day and we make time to read. She sees Mommy and Daddy reading (more often Mommy because I sneak it in constantly throughout the day). Books are gifts for every gift giving holiday. We even have a "25 Days of Christmas Books Box" that we do every December. I wrote about it last year and you can check out that link here.
We have books everywhere. Every room in our house has at least one bookshelf. There are books piled up on my nightstand. There are books in her bedroom--more books than toys actually. We have books in the kitchen, in the TV room, in the living room, and even in the bathroom for her. She can't get away from them.
One way we make sure that we get some reading in is reading at night. My husband and I do bedtime together. This is possible for us because of our schedules and the fact that we have only one child. I know not everyone can have both parents there for bedtime routines, but you could incorporate the bedtime reading together so it's a family ritual. We read two books each night, or one long one. My daughter picks one and then we pick one. So after she's brushed teeth and changed into her jammies, we cuddled up together and read. So in case we had a super busy day and just didn't find time to read, we still have this. Our family time with books.
We also visit our library on a weekly basis. Now, this is due to my mom because she's amazing and watches our daughter. So once a week they go to the library for story time and my daughter spends an hour with other pre-school aged children enjoying books. Then they play and get library books. I'm always really excited to get to do this during the summer with her. I'm not sure how we'll incorporate this into our routine once she starts school 5 days a week because our library is a bit out of our way. It may end up being a weekend trip.
Will this instill a love of reading in my daughter? Will she still enjoy reading when she's 10, 11, 12, 15? I can't be certain. Believe me, I have flashes of fear where I see her rebelling against me through a ban on reading. There is no way to make sure a child does anything. I just hope that by surrounding her with books in as many ways as possible, she'll find her own love for it that lasts and lasts. All we can do is try.
How do you foster reading in your children? Do you have ideas for older children? What has worked for you?