I am not what you would classify as a shopper. I really don’t enjoy shopping in general, but If I have a weakness it’s Goodwill. Their children’s book section gets me every time. I could browse for hours and spend hundreds of dollars on their $1.50 books. There are so many old stories, vintage illustrations, and classics to drool over. I just stand there dreaming about spending time with my kids reading them the adventures of Oliver Twist and Anne of Green Gables. I purchase these book with this idealistic notion that my kids will sit for hours while I read to them. Has this happened yet? No. But they are still young. (3, 2, and 1 years old)
Here is my bookshelf right now. Clearly I don’t need more books. But I can’t help myself.
Just after I had Joe (my oldest) I picked up the book, The Read Aloud Handbook, and it really nailed how important reading aloud is. I’d like to share with you some of the big take-a-ways from the book and some pictures of my latest purchases from my local Goodwill store.
Your child’s listening and comprehension level far exceeds their reading level. So push past the Berenstain Bears and go for Charlotte’s Web or longer stories. Even if they don’t understand everything that happens, they learn so much more than they would from a easy reader book.
I also learned that it’s important to keep them engaged. So don’t worry about reading every word in the book, skip the long descriptive parts and move onto the fun.
Take your time and enunciate your words. I know it’s hard not to rush the stories that happen just before bed. But allow them to hear the sounds of the words. Use different voices for different characters. They will love it.
Have your child sit close to you or if you are able, have them sit on your lap. That way they can feel your cadence, breath, and rhythm. These are the building blocks for learning how to read.
And I will leave you with an easy activity.
My kids don’t know how to read yet, but we still do silent reading time. They pick out 5-10 books and sit quietly on the couch and look at pictures. This gives me some time to wrap up whatever I was doing, and when I finish I will read a few books with them. This creates a culture in the house to sit quietly with books and engage with stories, and to share the good stories with one another.
What are some of your favorite books to read aloud? I am always on the hunt.