Friday, October 17, 2008

Family Friday: Story Time

Ever since I was a young child, I have loved to read. I cannot tell you where that love came from, but they say that reading to young children and allowing them to see you regularly reading will help them to become good readers. In my case, I do not remember my mom reading to me or reading on her own, but none the less, here I am, an avid reader. Since I do enjoy books so much, I also love to read to my children.

With 4 little ones, I have begun to grow tired of the picture books though so I have begun reading chapter books to them. The older kids are at an age where they can read most of the books I am reading them anyway, but they still love being read to. Now, I tuck them into bed and then move out into the hallway, just outside their bedroom door, and read to them out loud from whichever book we are currently reading. The girls love using their imaginations to visualize what is happening in the books and it promotes creativity and exposes them to classic stories so I love it too. Some books require less imagination, such as Harry Potter or Disney stories which they have seen movies about, but we try to avoid books that they have already seen the movie to. Currently, we are reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When we finish the series, I will show them some of the old tv episodes so they can see how someone else imagined the stories.

Of course, we all still like cuddling up together, or one-on-one, to read too. For the younger ones, this is when I read the picture books. With the older ones, this is the time I have them read to me. It is a wonderful bonding experience and I love seeing how much their reading has improved.

There are all sorts of ways to incorporate story time. Find a way that works for your family and try to implement it on a regular basis. Personally, we read every day, but for some families, it may work best to read once a week. For others, especially those who do not enjoy reading (my husband falls in this category), there are books on tape that you can all listen too and imagine the story together. The important part is the time together and the exposure to good books.

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