I’ve got to admit, I’ve been a horrible mom when it comes to reading to my kids. I really should do it more often, but it never seems to be a good time. There’s a whole big push in my area that reading to your kids 20 minutes a day is good for them, or having them read for 20 minutes a day. Most days we manage 20 minutes of Sander and Beekee reading. Corde (not surprisingly) hardly reads at all. I try to squeeze in reading to Luca, but it’s not always that easy.
After watching an episode of Once Upon A Time (on Netflix) with Peter Pan, we decided I would read Peter Pan to the kids again. We read it quite a few years back when we still lived in the trailer park. Beekee was so into the story that I managed to read the whole book without a break when all the other kids had fallen asleep.
Now, I have to say Peter Pan isn’t the perfect read aloud for so much time off of reading together. It’s long and wordy so the kids tend to glaze over and zone out. They couldn’t even pull from the text that Nana was a dog. Still, they’ll get used to hearing me read and eventually the stories will start sinking in. On top of Peter Pan we also have the complete Wizard of Oz series, all of Anne of Green Gables, all of the Judy Moody books, as well as the ones about her brother, Stink, and Coraline. We’ve got plenty of stuff on my Kindle to keep us reading aloud for quite some time.
I have to admit, I kind of like doing the read aloud stories on Kindle. They’re easy to store and I don’t have to worry about losing the book from one night to the next. I misplace things all the time, so having something so easily found (it’s in a bright turquoise case) is a definite benefit.
And poor Luca couldn’t last the whole chapter. I had a floppy Bear draped over on my lap, perfectly content to sleep there. I needed help to move the sleeping one out of my lap and onto the bed. Luca actually managed to stay asleep straight through the night until morning, falling asleep almost two hours before the usual time. I think we may need to keep that up, for no other reason than to get Luca to bed earlier.
As time passes I’m sure my skill at reading will improve again. Like I said, the kids will get used to hearing my voice and hearing me read to them. They’ll get used to the idea of books being a part of our regular day. Their exposure to new ideas and vocabulary will definitely help, especially since books have a much more challenging vocabulary than television shows (except maybe some of the educational ones). It’ll be good for them, and it’ll help their brains grow.
All of this will also continue to link back to other things in their lives. They’re going to hear about Peter Pan and Captain Hook, characters they’re seeing in the television show. Then they’re going to hear about the Wizard of Oz and we can watch the movies that go with that theme. They can hear about Coraline’s adventure, then watch the movie again to compare. There’s even a series on Netflix called Anne with an “E” that we can watch as we read Anne of Green Gables. It should be fun.
Reading to the kids has always been on and off a thing that I’ve done. Being radical unschoolers, we never really had a set routine, which made it difficult to keep the reading thing going. Now that our lives have more structure it should be a lot easier to keep it going. I’m not sure how it will fit in when we start going back to jujitsu, but we’ll find a way to make it work. I’m really excited about being able to do this with them.