Reading to our three kids is such a normal occurrence in our home that I often find it unusual and strange whenever I hear from others that they do not read to their children.
During the first 2 to 3 years of Zac’s life, either my husband or I would read to him every night before his bedtime. Every. Single. Night. It was part of his bedtime routine.
When Jay was born, we started reading to him too. With two kids of different ages, guess what we did? I would read to one of them while the hubby read to the other. On some nights, both boys would be read to together, by either one of us.
Then when Elly came along, life gets pretty hectic with three kids at home. It can get challenging trying to read to the 3 of them together. But we still did, as much as possible, although I have to admit that with Elly, I didn’t manage to read to her as much as to her two brothers.
This is one area that I feel bad about, towards my girl.
Elly loves to be read to. She often comes to me and asks me to read her some story books. To her, it is a great bonding time, her special time with mommy.
Sometimes I read to her. Other times I didn’t. And the reason I gave her? “It’s late, you’ve got to sleep! Sorry no books today…,” I would tell her, when the real reason was that I was just too tired and couldn’t wait for them to all go to bed so that I could have some time alone!
Although Jay is already in Primary 2 and has no problem reading chapter books by himself, he still asks me to read to him once in a while, especially before he leaves for school or before his bedtime. To him, reading aloud time is his special bonding time with mommy too. I am sad to say that there were also many times when I rejected his requests to be read to, simply because I was too tired. Again. 😦
Recently, I came across this book while researching for my lessons and immediately went to the library the next day to borrow it.
After reading only the first few pages, I was already feeling excited and really happy that we had been reading aloud to our two boys from the time they were a few months old. The benefits of reading aloud to our children are way too underrated.
The most wonderful thing after I started reading this book is, I now feel a renewed motivation to want to spend time reading aloud to Elly every single night. I know she will be thrilled! In fact, I’m also going to make a greater effort to read aloud to Jay more often too!
And I am not even halfway through the book!
Here are some excerpts from this brilliant book that made me want to commit myself to read aloud to my kids every single night once again.
“Children who are read aloud to early and regularly quickly acquire the skill of listening and the desire to hear stories. They understand the immense pleasures waiting for them in books and develop the ability to concentrate and relax.” (Chapter 5)
“No wonder experts tell us that children need to hear a thousand stories read aloud before they begin to learn to read for themselves.” (Chapter 3)
“…children need to know above all that they’re loved by their parents… And parents can show that love by giving children time – it may be as little as fifteen minutes a day – to read aloud together, to talk to each other, and to bond.” (Chapter 3)
“…if every parent read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation.” (Chapter 2)
“The best time to start reading aloud to a baby is the day it is born.” (Chapter 5)
And my favourite part of the book so far….
“If we begin skimping on reading aloud before bed, it may slip from the family routine altogether. Other things may start to seem more pressing. But what could be more important than our children’s literacy and the loving interactions that occur during a read-aloud session? Is feeling too tired a valid excuse? Surely not. The price of not reading aloud is too high.” (Chapter 5)
That paragraph seemed to be written just for me!
So, I am going to read aloud to my children once again. Especially to Elly every single night. And to Jay when he asks for it, and even when he doesn’t. I’m also going to ask Zac if he still wants to listen to me read to him once in a while, although he now enjoys reading books alone and can get really engrossed in them. It will be nice to read aloud to Zac once again.
Do you read to your children?
You really should. 🙂