Reading: an introduction to much more than words on a page...
During my time as an elementary teacher, I learned much about the importance of books and early literacy. I definitely saw the growth in children every day and knew that reading was a fundamental part of their development. I have a deep understanding of why books are important for the developing mind of a child but the purpose of this blog is not to drag you through a sea of educational jargon. My message is not to preach to the reasons why you should always read to/with your children. I'd simply like to share and reflect on the relationship that I am witnessing between my family and books. Below you will find a few key reasons why my children will always have books accessible in our home.
My Daughter has a fabulous affinity for books! Everyday I find myself sitting back and observing her peering into book of all sizes, on her own in wonderment of the story her mind is projecting. One of the things I love the most about this is the fact that I can introduce books from my past to her, as if they were brand new. Not only do her book shelves hold valuable stories with messages written on the pages within but the spine also clasps untold moments from my life, that will one day serve as a sequel or prequel to my tales (waiting to be told). Often, we carry a fond recollection of individuals important to us and associate them with the stories they told from a very young age. It gives me pleasure to stock her bookcase with such books and I truly cannot wait to tell her over and over of the thoughts brought back with each story session. I find it fascinating that one book can be liked by so many, leading to endless conversation for years and years to come.
Batteries Not Included
Another HUGE plus to having books available is that they are very low maintenance to keep around. With one purchase you can relive the emotions and dialogue inside endlessly. You won't find yourself searching for a screwdriver and/or running out to buy AA, AAA or D sized cylinders as the power source behind the object of affection your child wants to hear (over and over and over again). Unlike the other items that generate sound in your home, a book can provide the same sound or possibly a brand new tune, song or story, by way of the readers voice. It is also quite fun to decide the dialect for a character or style in which you would like to read and surprise your child when reading to them. My husband and I find joy in being as silly as possible, as often as we can with our little girl. Books provide a perfect avenue for this and the laughter that follows when talking in a very deep voice or with an accent she may have never heard before, unexpectedly, is priceless.
Up Close and Personal
It is no secret that in the beginning stages of childhood parents are the ones doing the reading. For this reason our babies must be close while we share stories. Although my daughter often "reads" independently she brings books to me, frequently. My heart skips a beat when she wants me to share a story with her, as she is not very snuggly otherwise. "Story time" is my opportunity to sit close to my daughter or even place her in my lap for an extended period of time. Typically, I make it a point to prolong the story and make her smile, sneak in extra snuggles and laugh, when we look at books together. Between the book corner in my little girls room, the book basket in our living area and the books we bring along with us, there will always be an opportunity to get close and read for many years to come.
[Bookshelf seen above available at #Babyletto & My Dad Has A Beard children's book #orangehatpublishing]