Raising a Reader

March 6, 2015

I'd like to start off by mentioning that I myself am not much of a reader. I can't say I've ever had a heart for books. I wish I did. I guess it had to do with: A) I had other more "important" things to do; B) Most books were boring to me; and right now my reason being: not having enough time. I remember I heard about the bestseller titled "The Shack". I tried reading it, but I couldn't for the life of me get past the 3rd page (I attempted 2 more times with no success). Weak sauce right? It was just so hard to read or enjoy. So all I know is that I want Erin to love reading (crossing fingers). It's never too early to start reading to your baby. Babies may not understand everything, but they are soaking it all in and they're paying attention to what you're saying and what they're seeing. I'm so glad Erin loves books and "reading". She obviously can't read right now so Ken and I are doing the reading for her. Here are some of Erin's current favs:

1. Stuck- Oliver Jeffers 2. Oh, the Places You'll Go - Dr. Seuss 3. Potty- Leslie Patricelli 4. Babylit books -Jennifer Adams 5. Bible 6. Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown

Books 1 and 2 are a mystery to us as to why Erin likes them so much at her current age. Ken actually really dislikes book 1 for some reason, but Erin really enjoys it. Poor Ken has to read the book over and over, sometimes 5 times in a row. Book 2 is a classic and even though there are a lot of words involved, I think she enjoys the illustrations and I'm sure she likes the rhyming too. Book 3 has been a good way for introducing potty training. But my personal favorites are the Babylit books by Jennifer Adams (book 4). There aren't too many words, but there are a lot of wonderfully illustrated pictures. Books 5 and 6 have things that Erin recognize so she loves pointing them out while we read it. 

I wanted to use reading as a way to encourage and further develop Erin's speech. I'd say she knows about a dozen words and I can see that she is now trying to put words together (a lot of what she says is still gibberish). She still does a lot of grunting and gesturing rather than trying to say something. It's cute when she pronounces something completely wrong, but she's so confident she's saying it right. Erin's favorite thing right now is to point at things and say something that sounds like "what's that?", making us name it for her. Its amazing how much information kids can store in their tiny heads!


Reading has been a great bonding time as well. Reading time means sitting on mommy and daddy's lap. She'll always switch off laps mid reading. I wonder if she prefers one parent's reading over the other. Ken definitely gets more animated and interactive with his reading, which is great for keeping Erin interested. I'd like to think I've got the better reading voice. Right now, Erin is on: repeat, repeat, repeat. She can have us read the same book 5 times in a row (sometimes more). It's not much fun for us parents, but Erin doesn't seem to mind it.

I do however realize that with age, Erin's attention span has been on a decline. It's probably a mixture of reasons; so many other books to see; easily distracted; she's getting bored, etc. It's been harder to get her to sit down/pay attention through one book. Here are a few tips for keeping your little reader interested:
  1. Be overly animated. Ken is great at this. He makes animal noises, gets his whole body involved and everything.
  2. Read in different accents. I'm sure it throws Erin off a little, but the confusion keeps her paying attention. It's quite entertaining for us parents too.
  3. Get your child involved. We have Erin pointing out everything she recognizes or we have her "read" along with us.
  4. Make a routine. We usually start reading time after dinner and before bedtime. We hope that having a routine makes her looking forward to reading time.
  5. Visit the library. This is something I've been wanting to do with Erin. Our library has story time and they have people come in and read to a group of children. They use puppets and everything and I'm sure Erin would love it because of the change of atmosphere. 
I hope Erin continues to have a love for books. I can't wait till she can actually start reading the books to me. It'll be a happy and sad moment, reminding me of how fast she's growing!

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