We’re halfway through National Reading Month and I want to share how we promote reading with our kids. I want to start by saying that we have not always been on a strict reading plan, so to speak, with our son.
But I’ve noticed that he doesn’t seem to be quite at the same level as his peers. My son is just 4 years old, but when we visit the park or somewhere there may be other children his age, I notice that they seem to be more articulate with their speech and vocabulary.
I’ve wondered if it’s because he’s never been in a daycare or preschool setting, and around other kids his age for at least a few hours every day. I’m a working at home mom, so he’s always stayed home with me. And sure, that could be part of the problem, but it’s certainly not all of it.
What I realized is that it’s partly my own fault that my son isn’t exactly on point with his speech and vocabulary. Of course, this saddens me, but I can’t put the blame anywhere else. I realized that I, myself, needed to help my son and reading to him was the solution.
Just in the last 2 months we have implemented a new rule. Our son is not allowed to play any video games until he does 20-30 minutes of reading each day (we need to cut back his electronic time anyways). I cannot express how much of a change I have seen in his speech and vocabulary in just the last 2 months.
It’s amazing at how quickly children learn and not just that, but truly how effective reading to our children can be. He has already become more age appropriate as far as being able to repeat stories to me.
Of course it’s usually after I’ve read them to him a handful of times, and I know he’s definitely using the pictures to help him along the way, but that’s age appropriate for a 4 year old. I mean, I’m not expecting him to be able to sit and tell me what each word on the page is, but we do work on that too.
Not only do we read every day, but as we’re doing that I’m trying to teach him word recognition along with letter/sound recognition so that he can put different letter sounds together to determine a word. These are the types of things taught in school, but if I can give him a head start, well then why not?
And at this point with as much reading as we do, I’m sure my 6 month old is going to be jabbering away very shortly. She’s already made it known that she’ll be a blabber mouth with the noise she makes as it is, but I know that getting her involved now will only increase her speech and vocabulary at an early age.
I even think back to when I was a kid and over the summer while my mother was working during the day, we always stayed at our grandmother’s house. And boy, grandma MADE us read, haha. She’d take us to the public library once or twice a month and we’d get to pick out what books we wanted to read. Then we’d head back to her house and get to it. Looking back, I thank her for that. And now as an adult with my own children, I realize how important reading really is.
So, in celebration of National Reading Month, I challenge you to sit down and spend some time reading to your child tonight. Even if it’s just 10-15 minutes, that’s better than nothing.