Monday, August 17, 2009

proud mommy moment

My proud mommy moment for this week is just a small one. I'm too tired and busy to think very hard, so it's all I could come up with. And it's something that many, many moms do. But anyway, my positive thing today is that I read to my kids daily. As a teacher, we know that early experiences with books have a tremendous correlation with a child's ease with learning to read. In fact we talk about a 1,000 book child versus a 10 book child. Basically, children who are read to regularly would have at least 1,000 experiences with books by the time they start kindergarten. And really, I think that is a very conservative number. If you started reading to your child at 1 year old (and you can start at birth! I did!) and read just 1 book a day, 300 days a year (that gives 65 days off, just in case, because life does sometimes get crazy), you will have read 1200 books by the time they start kinder. But who can stop at just one? So I figure many kids come with 3 or 4 times that many. And some come with almost none. I'm not saying that parents who don't read to their kids are bad parents; many of them are great parents. But reading to your child increases their vocabulary, world knowledge, sense of story, knowledge of print, and many other skills. It also is a great way to bond. So, enough of the technical, teacher stuff.

Since my kids were very young, I have made it an (almost) daily part of our lives to read stories. We visit the library often, in addition to the hundreds of books I own. I shouldn't (because I have so many books), but I often buy books from the book orders. So every evening before bed, I cuddle with my two older girls (and sometimes Gabrielle...but not every day) and read 1-5 stories. We talk about what's happening, I answer their questions, I let Michelle read to us, and we have a great time right before bed.

And because I am too tired to hunt down photos of me reading to the kids...here's a cute one of Michelle as a baby "reading" to herself. My kiddos all love books, just like their mom.