Many of you know the importance of reading. We can learn so much through reading, whether it is a book, magazine article, blog post, news article, or anything else with the written word. Reading gives us the ability to go anywhere at anytime. It can open our eyes to new worlds and new adventures. When you are reading a great story you feel as if you are truly there! You feel a connection with the characters and can picture the setting. A story can help you to see a new perspective on things in your own life or help you to understand something you may have been struggling to comprehended. The written word can be a powerful thing.
I want our children to have every advantage that we can give them. The ability to read is something I feel they can not live without. It gives them the ability to grow as learners for the rest of their lives. Who wouldn’t want that for their child? I want my children to be independent thinkers and the ability to read gives them knowledge, perspective, and creativity to face the world.
Already at the age of four they are using, what a professor of mine called “delicious” words. You know the words I am talking about…big, succulent, full of meaning words. They use them in context as well, which surprises us more often than not. This comes from us using these types of words in our conversations with them, but also when reading with them I stop to explain the words they may not understand. We read books about all kinds of topics, fiction and non-fiction. Our house is full of books and many of the books have been well loved. We definitely have our favorites, but enjoy new stories as well. We try to make it to the library whenever possible and the kids chose the books to check out. Many times I will chose a few extra books to read with them as well.
We have a word wall that the kids get to add words to, to help them have ownership over their ever going vocabulary. They are reading several sight words and are always asking how to spell words. They are also trying to write notes to each other or signs for their doors. They are already understanding the power that written words possess. Especially when their signs they are trying to write say no girls or boys allowed on their perspective doors. They typically are using just the first letter of the word or using inventive spelling, but they know that their words have meaning.
I try to set an example for them when it comes to reading. I make sure I read in front of them when we have a few quiet moments and I time to just sit and relax with a book. I want them to see that I still enjoy sitting down with a good book. They often ask what I am reading and I will summarize the last bit I have just read for them…if appropriate for them to hear. ;-) I want my children to love to read just as I do. We are doing everything we can to raise life long readers.