Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Reading

We're technically a few days away from the official start of summer... but the summer reading is in full swing. I know it may seem odd that I am surprised by Zach suddenly getting in to reading boat books... I mean BIG surprise right? But it is a big surprise. He normally goes for the gnomes and fairies and pirates and silly mystery paperbacks, so his new fascination with boat books is ironically out of character.

I frankly don't care what he reads as long as I find him like this.

It seems the book nook is migrating outside for the season.

Here's the catch. Zach can't read. I mean he can sound out words and pick out sentences, but those piles and piles of books you see are all patiently read by my sweet husband and by me. Reading to your kids shouldn't only happen at bed time. It should happen all the time. Waiting in line at the store, driving through town, while eating breakfast, in the bath tub (daddy's favorite), while making dinner. Your kids should see you reading too. They need to know that this is a legitimate way to pass the time. And your kids don't need to know how to read to have their nose buried in a book. Z spends huge chunks of time pouring over his books, page by page, "reading" quietly through his favorites of the week.

Make the books accessible. Switch them around seasonally. Let your kids have a "favorites" basket. Make books your rewards rather than sweets or toys. Go to your local library so often that they know you by name. Use funny voices when you read. Make sound effects. Act it out! Stop what you're doing, any time of day, and read to your little ones while they still enjoy the sound of your voice and the space on your lap.

(I added an amazon link to the top left sidebar. It seemed like a better way to organize my book favorites without cluttering the page. Let me know what you think or if you have any suggestions/ ideas to make it better! Happy Reading!)


Erin J said...

Yep! Before we know it our four-year-olds will be official book junkies just like us! Oh wait, maybe they already are.... :)

Good post!

Tan Family said...

Great advice regarding books and reading! How wonderful that he likes to "read" outside...

Lia Mack said...

aha! I can recognize Martha Stewart anywhere... ;)

My kids love our book do you keep the 'skittos from eating you outside?

Cast of Characters said...

This is wonderful. I love the DK Eyewitness books - esp. for the pictures.

I am a children's librarian and if you're ever looking for any recommendations, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have, or give you a list of my favorites for his age!

Laureen said...

OMG this had me laughing so hard. I just assumed, since you kept posting it, that Zach could read, and I was feeling a little bit the Suboptimal Parent.

But Kestrel (who just turned 4) does *precisely* this same thing. Sits in his room for an hour or two, "reading". And I say, "carry on, young man!!!

Masasa said...

Good reminder that I *need* to carve out more book time for kids need to see me reading to myself as much as I read to them. I've been craving reading time in a serious way.

Lily Boot said...

totally, totally agree. We are huge readers and Abby has been from the moment she was born - I read to her almost everytime she breastfed - when she was three and still breastfeeding we spent the year reading the little house books. When she would sit in her high chair we would read - 8-10 books at a time. She too would sit and pore over her books by herself. She's now 11 and she and I still read together - picture books still (because we both adore good illustrations as well as lovely stories) and novels - we're reading Eva Ibbotson's Dragonfly Pool at the moment. And I am huge on voices and actions - it's such fun - and over the years, when I make the actions, Abby does too. She is a wonderful reader herself and shines at all things language related at school. Books are a marvellous part of our life - congrats on encouraging the reader in Zach - he looks very content :-)

boatbaby said...

ErinJ - definite book junkie

TanFam - Or in the car, or at the grocery store, or anywhere!

Lia - Huh? I am so dense I don't even know what you're talking about with the Martha? Where? What? As for skittos... bay breeze keeps most away. or we just swat and move on.

Cast - Oooo a children's librarian sounds like a lovely job! I'd love to hear any nautical books for kids you like.

Laureen - you crack me up. It's not a contest girlfriend! Unless you're on a monohull :lol

Masasa - it's HARD to find that time at that age.

Lily - I LOVE hearing that you and your daughter STILL read together at 11! That makes my heart sing!

Melissa Nyc said...

I love it! My son just turned one and he's constantly bringing me books to read to him. He holds the book up and goes "uh uh uh uh" telling me to read it. He brings me board books, Dr Seusse books, cookbooks, novels, anything! I'm so excited to know he already has a love for books and it's so sweet the way you put it, that he enjoys listenning to my voice, because that'll (hopefully not!) probably go away at some point too.

waldorfmama said...

"there is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on treasure island" ~ quote by walt disney ~ :)

Cast of Characters said...

"If Not for the Calico Cat" by Mary Blount Christian


"Captain Annabell" by Neal Evan Parker

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