“Really?” he responded. “Honestly, by the time my wife and I get home in the evenings, eat dinner, get the kids in the tub, and in the bed, we are wiped out.”
As a teacher, this comment surprised, and saddened me.
Here is the point of this blog: As a retired educator of preschool children, I’m hoping parents understand that reading to young children is very important.
May I just encourage you to read to, and with, your children …. as often as possible?
Believe me, I understand when people say, “I’m just so busy.” I get it. I am crazy busy myself, and busier than I have ever been!
Reading aloud to preschool children, is such a vital, and rich learning opportunity. I do not advocate pressuring a child to learn to read, especially when they aren’t ready to read. However, we can provide children with enjoyable occasions when they can listen to entertaining, and engaging, literature. As children interact with you about what you read, their vocabulary increases, they comprehend much better, and they become better at being able to express their thoughts and ideas. I’ve always enjoy reading with different voices for each character too. Children love it, when we make it fun!! All of these skills pave the way for learning to read, when they are ready.
There are many, many great books written for children and local librarians can be quite helpful in finding excellent literature for children. (And, those books are free!) Some of my favorite authors are Bill Martin Jr., Eric Carle, Dr Seuss, Laura Numeroff, and Mo Williams to name a few. Librarians will have summer reading lists available this time of year, even for preschool children, and summer reading programs begin soon for school age kids. Also, since summer is upon us click here for some additional ideas on my You Tube Channel: Summer Reading Ideas
Think of it this way: “Reading time,” is an excellent investment in your child’s education. Maybe you can develop some new reading goals for your family. Perhaps, you could try reading to your children on a routine basis such as a few nights a week, or twice every weekend. Use the slow cooker to make dinner for you on those days, pick up something from a drive through restaurant, or order carry out. You could get creative, and name your reading time something fun, like “Munching, and reading, with my bunch.” Whatever works, to encourage them to anticipate this special time, right?
My story, as an idealist, would begin, “Once upon a time there was a land where every family read books to their children every evening, even as they got older.”
And, the end of the book would read, “They grew up reading (all by themselves) happily ever after.”
Here are some thoughts and ideas, mostly for older children, about the importance of Oral Reading.