Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Posts tagged ‘reading to children’

Phonetic What…

Deb Allender, F2F Outreach based in Casper

Early Literacy is a tool we can give our children that will help shape  their futures in a million ways. It doesnt cost a million dollars, it  just takes moments of our time to read to them, to let them read to us,  to encourage their imaginations, to hone their guessing skills. Early  literacy doesn’t just have to be flashcards and phonetic drills. It  can, and should, be encorperated into every aspect of life. Reading is  something every family can do together…..even if it is the side of the  mac and cheese box while cooking dinner. It is a practical skill that  once we give our children, can not be taken away. Once a child learns to  read they have worlds opened up for them. They can use reading to learn  and grow, they can use it to escape and imagine, they can use it to  laugh and question.  If we instill in our young children a true passion  for literacy we are really giving them the world-any part of it they  wish to explore.

Children will learn to love reading if the adults they are around model  a love of reading. And I know I am as guilty as the next tired single  mom, who just doesn’t have time to sit down and read for fun anymore. 

And I will admit I sometimes go for the book with just a few more  pictures and a few less words, but you know what?  It’s still a book,  and we can still look for clues in the illustrations and make  predictions before we turn the page and we can read it with silly  voices- some of my boys favorties things about how I read. We can find  a way to enjoy the moments we do have, build it into the routine,  strengthen learning in unconventional ways, and really install that  passion in our children.

I often worry that I am not doing enough for my children, but the  reality is I am doing the best that I know how to do. And that is really all any of us can do as parents. So don’t beat yourself up for the  stories you didnt read last night, just take a breath and read a short one tonight.

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Early Reading is a Must

Yes, reading should start this early.

My mother used to tell me that reading to children is the most important thing you can do for them as a parent.  I have seven siblings, and true to her convictions, she read to all of us until we were old enough to want to read alone.  She read nightly for 26 years – 9,490 reading sessions with us all piled into her lumpy old bed.

We lived out in the present ghost town of Table Rock Village.  Once a week the bookmobile would make the 45 mile trip from Rock Springs to our village.  Once it arrived, the kids would line up outside for their turn to pick books.  My siblings and I made up 50% of the line.  The driver only let us choose 10 books, and only 2 people could get on the bookmobile at a time.  Ultimately, though, our family would end up with 90 books (my mom got 10 also), and we each read every single one.

Fast forward 20 years:  We can now see that early literacy sets the foundation for long-term educational success.  This week I will be attending the college graduation of my younger sibling, and the 8th college graduation for our family – a milestone that makes my mother’s time and work really show.  And when I get home, I will sit down with my kids for our 2,920th reading session.

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