Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bringing Reading to everyday

Since we've got these three around here...
I've had teaching and learning a lot on my mind.
Really in the forefront of my mind since I've had kids.
My mom went back to school and became a teacher, a grade one and grade two teacher.
So she knows all about preparing kids for school and for reading. I mean it's her job to do that.
So she has been teaching me, for quite a while, about all the things I can do to help my kids.

My mom always made words come alive for us.
We were read to long before she knew that it was such an important thing to do.
We are a family of readers.
I remember often finding my father immersed in various books when I was younger.

My kids aren't reading yet. But Alden is so on the verge I can taste it.
My mom gave him some beginner reader books. And he can read the first four.

In case you didn't know there are two ways to learn to read.
One is the phonics method. You know the sounding out route.
The other is memorization. Which in fact, is the way most people read.
Think about it, how many words on this post, so far, have you sounded out?
I'm assuming not very many.

That's cause there are all in your head.
A kid who is read to a lot, learns to read the memorization route.
It's more natural. It's the way our brains work.

So we've been reading. And we'll keep reading.
But since Alden is getting closer and closer, I've been trying to make words and letters come more alive. Not only noticing things myself, but making sure my kids see them.
Like this big letter we saw on our Sunday walk.
Some of the specific things we try to do around here:
1. Read to our kids. A lot. We don't set a time limit. But we do read every night before bed. And as often as they want. My mom told me one rule she had for herself as a mother. She always would read whenever a child would ask. I try to do the same.

2. Go to the library. Often. And let the kids delight in the amount of free available books. On any topic they want.

3. Encourage them to write and draw. With papers, markers, pens, crayons. Anything.

4. Let them see us reading and enjoying books. On all kinds of topics.

5. Point out letters and words we see in every day surroundings. Now Alden spots them and is often asking us to read words to him. Lucy is already starting to do the same.

I'm hoping that all these things help my kiddos realize that reading is so important. Through words we can learn about anything. Religion, science, flowers, cooking, woodworking, photography. There are words about anything. A whole wide world of reading ready to be discovered.

When Alden read the first beginner reader, he was amazed that he could do it. And he said to me about three times, "I read that?!" in a mix of surprise and excitement. I can't wait for him to continue on this road of reading.


For more information on reading and your kids check out these sites:

Simple Things
Star Fall
Early reading
Love of Reading


JA Crew said...

ella loves star fall. we just found it a couple days ago, and she can't get enough!

Crystal said...

You are such a wise momma - and you have a wise momma too!! I'd love to meet her someday :) Encouraging reading is such a goal of mine for our grandchildren too. I love your
bridge "X". Someone has a blog challenge about that this week - wish I could remember who :(

Heather M. said...

love this so much! Reading is so awesome!

Mary said...

You rock! This is such a cool post and totally inspires me. We read a lot to Sadie - it's always been important to me. And I hope hope hope she loves to read as much as I do!

Carmen said...

It is an amazing thing. I am a firm believer in reading to them the second they are born. And reading anything and EVERYTHING to them, all the time, any time. Ethan is in Gr 4 and he reads at a Gr 9 level!! No kidding. We have read to him since he was 1 minute old. And Bella is right on track to be the same. It is wonderul. It is empowering.

The Blakeney's said...

some good ideas. i look forward to teaching lyla as she grows. we already have reading time each day. she loves it :)

Christina said...

Loved this post.

My kids are at a point where they will sit for a long time to be read to - I am enjoying reading classics to them that I never read as a child - like the Wizard of Oz, Little House on the Prairie, Chronicles of Narnia. I love that time that we get to read together.

my4blessings said...

Yay for books! This is an excellent way to impart a big gift to your children, a love of learning and books goes a long way. I so appreciate the very intentional way in which you parent.

(although I am a firm believer in the phonics method *wink*)