Friday, February 10, 2012

Reading with Your Kids

At this point in Asher's 2 1/2 year old life, it really is reading with him. What he wants from reading time differs day-to-day. Sometimes, he just wants to listen while my husband or I read with him. Sometimes, he wants to finish parts of the sentences in books. Sometimes, when he's looking at a book I'll ask him if he wants me to read it to him, and he says, "No, Asher's reading it." Doesn't matter to me which scenario is occurring, I love that he's interested in books.

Aiden's attention span is obviously much shorter than Asher's, but he'll page through books on his own, and if he's in the right mood he'll bring one over and hand it to me to read . . . Granted, I usually only get through 2-3 pages before he's onto something else, but still it's good!

Asher at about 8 months
Aiden at 7 months
You can start reading to your kids while they're still in the womb (which we didn't do) or wait until after they're born. Even if you wait until they're older, it's a wonderful habit to get into. I started reading to Asher when he was just a newborn, and at times it seemed silly and pointless because he was staring off into space, but I'm convinced that if we read to the boys often enough, it's something they'll want to do on their own as they get older. One of my tactics was to offer board books to the boys when they were/are little instead of, or in addition to, other toys so they were able to look at them frequently. It seemed to peak their interest more if they looked at books of their own volition instead of me pushing it on them. Reading has so many benefits that aren't necessarily thought of on the surface; it definitely increases vocabulary (which is one of the reasons we're encouraged to read to our children when they're young), and I would also argue that it helps with schoolwork - if reading comes easily, it's not as onerous to read for assignments because kids can focus on the material they're supposed to learn, and not struggle reading the individual words.
Reading through all 26 letter-books.
Right now we don't have a set time to read to the boys, but we do it almost on a daily basis. I'll admit, there are times when I'd rather be doing something else, or I can't stand the book that's brought over (e.g. Fox in Socks - too many tongue-twisters for my taste), or the book is way too long so I sneakily skip paragraphs . . . or sometimes pages. But, I think the important thing is that it's getting done. We've learned to try to engage the boys right away in the book by doing voices or silly sound effects to match the pictures, and those are the books that Asher would bring over most frequently. Whatever works with your kids is the best approach. Sometimes I'll just read a book aloud even if neither of the boys seems to be listening because as I said, it's something I think is important to establish early.
Aiden, Daddy, and Asher
I know as they get older their tastes will change with whatever they're most interested in at the time, but it's my hope that as parents we can always provide them with a book that will fit those interests . . . and that they'll enjoy reading it!
"Green Eggs and Ham" . . . twice, apparently :)


  1. Woo! Those are awesome alphabet books;)

    1. Seriously, they are! I think they'll end up helping him read because now he reads each letter on the page and then says the word. Aiden loves them, too - they're GREAT!