Ah, books! I do spend a lot of time online, but to hold a ‘real’ book in my hand is something I will always love to do. In 1st or 2nd grade, I wrote my first book; I was fortunate enough to have a teacher interested enough in Language Arts to work it into a lesson plan and even bind our books for us. What a happy memory that is! (Sadly, my illustrations of today remain much the same, however!) In 7th grade I jumped at the opportunity my school offered to work as a library aide, discovering another passion. My life has continued along parallel lines of enlightenment as my interest has heightened in such things as travel and history, never waning in writing or reading.
And so it was no surprise that I began reading to my son before he was ever discharged from the hospital! Granted, he didn’t get to come home right away… Still yet some might be surprised (or be nodding right along with me) at having a sharply contrasted black and white book in his crib at a couple of months old. One can never start too young or too late; just begin! 🙂
As he is now entering into the ‘preschool’ years, I am looking into various teaching methods; while play is a great learning tool, I don’t want to get so wrapped up with keeping my house clean and taking him to the park that I forget to focus on essentials – and essentials that he himself is interested in – in a meaningful and productive way. While I have taken courses toward becoming a certified teacher, and I have taught, and I am a mom… the first two have been over a decade ago and the latter? Well, I am still new at this, after all! 🙂
And he is interested in SO MUCH! He is a sponge, as everyone always says they are at this age. He enjoys math (numbers, shapes), language (spelling with tiles and verbally, foreign), science (experiments such as how fast ice melts in the sun vs inside), social sciences (why is that man putting mail in our box, and why can’t I open our neighbors’ mailbox?), geography (where does Grumpy Prank live?-Newfoundland), Space (my space shuttle -one dad had to blow up with all his hot air! – is loud!)… At this point, even worksheets are fun for him.
This week we are focusing on the letter “S.” So we have of course traced it but also focused on Space because this is his current topic of interest. (Hence the letter “S!” Also, because for a week or so he suddenly became afraid of the blow-up Space Shuttle that he’s had for over a year.) Naturally, we have books from the library about space, space travel, space shuttles, rockets, moons, planets…
Yesterday we used a paper plate and crepe paper to ‘make’ the sun and then we hung it up and had Snacks. Today we re-read one of the space books about a little girl building a rocket to go up into space and so we built a rocket out of a TP roll (since we didn’t have a PT roll) and foil and crepe paper (for fire). In the book, she used shapes (which he LOVES) so we did, too. 🙂 We are having fun! And of course Sound begins with an “S”!
Last week we focused on “B” and collected as many items that start with that letter as possible and put them in the in the laundry Basket. Naturally, the things he noticed first would not fit, like Bed, Bicycle (that’s what we call his tricycle) and his “rockin’ ridin’ Bull” from Auntie L and Uncle Todd! Nonetheless, we ended up with 20 things and had fun doing it! 🙂 I won’t bore you with the rest. Unless you ask me!
Of course, reading is incorporated into every single day, whether we have a “Letter of the Day” or any type of planned learning or not. Our home is full of book-a-holics. If you know someone who loves books too much, just send them here, to bookaholics anonymous. We may not help them out of it, but we can sure join ’em! 😉
And if you read the article link below, you can see 10 Tips for Telling Stories that Kids Love. I am fortunate my child already loves reading. Being read to. Both, actually. He memorizes the stories and reads them back when I tell him I have read that story too many times in a row!
Reading is one of the foundations of development, I think. I believe this to the core of my being. I even participate in Books For Treats during Halloween instead of giving out candy. Only this year I may go to an impoverished neighborhood instead of giving out books on my own. I cannot imagine if I had been unfortunate enough to have grown up without books and on top of that without learning the pleasure of reading. Engaging children in books that they can enjoy stretches their minds in ways other subject matters can’t, just as other subjects can’t touch the area of the brain in the same way reading can. I would that every child could experience the joy of reading.
Did you know that some libraries, such as the Fayetteville Public Library, for example, have more than reading tutors? They offer animals (and their owners) as tutors! Yes, because animals are non-judgemental listeners; thus children feel more comfortable reading to them! Amazing, the ideas libraries come up with! And some libraries have ‘grandparent reading time’ with volunteers. Check out your local library if you are interested in something extra for a child you know or in volunteering yourself or your pet.
I look forward to reading your reactions, comments, further suggestions. I haven’t tried these techniques myself yet as it is nearly midnight and I just now came upon them. When else am I supposed to do this except when my darling Edan is sleeping, right? 🙂
Please feel free to re-blog, post on FB or Google+, whatever makes you happy. COMMENTING on this post (and sharing it with others) would make me really happy! And keep me writing, too.
Storytelling 101: Tell Stories Your Kid Will Love – No Twiddle Twaddle.