From my chair, I get to observe families sharing the joy of reading and join in the experience when the time is right. Here are some ideas I am thinking about from the last two weeks at the Children’s Reading Place.
In the heat and sunshine of summer our children and grandchildren are on the move from early morning until they fall into bed for a restful sleep. Taking time over a book allows them to slow down for a few moments and enjoy both the shared story and the acknowledgment of their appreciation and love for each other. In this light, reading becomes a nurturing activity that will bring a child and parent closer together.
When you spend time reading to and with your toddlers, they find new ways and words to express their thoughts and feelings. The relationships that play themselves out in the pages of the book become models for young children to emulate. That’s why selecting and sharing quality, age appropriate books becomes so important.
I watched a mom, curled up on the floor with her son, stop and explain the meaning of a word in the story they were sharing. His eyes focused on her face as she said the word, gave him a simple definition, and then said the word again, His eyes sparkled and he repeated the word, quietly at first and then out loud. Mom smiled and took him back to the story. Later I watched them leave, with a new book, holding hands and imagined how her son would remember his morning.
Two boys, brothers I think, were tucked in the cubby in the Shel Silverstein room. The older boy, about 7 years-old was reading to his younger brother, maybe 5 years-old, from a Roald Dahl book. It was a pretty awesome moment but I was taken by the way the older brother demonstrated reading to his younger sibling. His little finger trailed across the page from left to right. From one edge of the page to the other and repeat. I wondered when I learned and who taught me this important and basic skill of how to read a book. It was pretty cool, that the teacher and student were brothers.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader” – Margaret Fuller