Wednesday, March 23, 2016
It is never too early to do so. As soon as a mother knows that she is carrying a precious life, pick up a book and read or tell a story to the unborn child each night. (Daddys should join in also) My belief is that this child hears the calmness of the voice at approximately the same time each day and as he/she/they are growing so does their awareness of a special time. And this is all taking place inside the womb.
Once the baby is born, the reading or telling of the story must always continue. As they become a little older, they will get the book for you to read to them. This will continue through the stages of learning how to read. An 18 month old can sit with a book and babble out words that they know what they are saying and reading as they are matching what they know you have read to them. If you pay close attention to their sounds you will even be able to hear certain inflections that you made when you read it to them
Then, all of a sudden, they are repeating the lines of the story over and over. Dr. Seuss was famous for using nonsense words and repetition. He was able to introduce illustration, alliteration and rhyme to literary concepts at young ages without children even recognizing this fact. As a former Reading Instructional Facilitator of a school district, as well as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, my intervention students would read a book to me that had this kind of repetition and illustrations in it and they did not even know they were reading. In fact, I made a comment to one little boy about what a great job of reading he had done and he looked at me with his big eyes and said, "I did read that and I don't even know how to read!" They amaze themselves. And parents need to become aware that this is most definitely a stage in learning how to read.
Each night when I was a little girl, my grandmother would tell me a story at bedtime. She liked to tell me different stories and I did like hearing them all, however, I could listen to her tell me the stories of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" or "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" over and over and over again. Why? Because she always repeated the important lines with the way I imagined that character spoke. "And who has been sitting in my chair?" Or, "Trip,trap,trip,trap."
So for all children the importance of having grownups in their lives who will tell and read stories to them every day is vital them growing up and becoming a part of the literary world. Exposing them to all genres and authors is crucial. Dr. Seuss just happens to be on my mind today, although the picture above is one of me reading to my granddaughter, "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly." She loves to hear it and then go off on her own and read it as only she knows how. She is 3 and has it all together.
In closing this blog today, I did find two other authors who had a little something to say about reading for children, G. K. Chesterton believed that fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but tell us that dragons can be beaten, What a wonderful positive thought to instill in a child. Then let me end on the note of advice from George Bernard Shaw, He said to make it a rule to never give a child a book you would not read yourself.