As my youngest has started to work on learning to read and write in kindergarten, and my oldest lays on the couch for hours lost in a book, I’ve been reflecting about books and reading. A book is so much more than just paper and ink and the binding that holds it together. Books can be entertaining, but most importantly, they teach us new things and help us broaden our understanding of the world we live in. It turns out reading books also does so much more, especially for our children.
I have read books to my girls since they were babies. Every year when they visit the pediatrician for their physical exam, they have gotten to pick a new children’s book from a mini-library. I always thought that was so cool. On our most recent visit, I learned that it is part of a “Reading Early Affects Development” (READ) program. Here are the statements they make on an information card we got with the book this year:
“Why READ? Because research shows that:
- Parents who read to their young children build a strong bond in the important early years of their child’s life.
- Children who learn to read early do better in school.
- Children who do well in school have fewer high risk behaviors.”
Wow – I was reading to my young kids without even knowing the benefits! I can’t recall whether or not my parents read to me when I was little, but when I was about five years old, we moved to an apartment that was one block from a public library. I fondly recall being in 1st or 2nd grade and going to the library every weekend, checking out a tall stack of books, reading every single one, and going back the following weekend to return them and get a new stack.
I have tried to pass on my passion for reading to my girls and I have been thrilled that others, like their childcare providers when they were younger, their teachers, and their pediatrician support and encourage reading too. Most recently I learned that our neighborhood even supports reading! We are lucky to have a public library a few miles from our home, but even more interesting, on a recent neighborhood walk we came across a big house-shaped mailbox…with books inside! A little sign attached to it informed us that it was a “Little Free Library“. It is a free book exchange; if you leave a book, you can take a book. Last week we took a neighborhood walk in the other direction of our home and found another Little Free Library, which made me curious enough to search online. It turns out these Little Free Libraries exist worldwide! Check out the map!
So, why read? Well, I’m sure you could help put together a top ten list of reasons, but in a nutshell…because it’s good for you 🙂 I’ll admit, since I’ve become a mom, I’ve had less time to read for my own pleasure, but still read. (Children’s books count, right?) I have been having a lot of fun re-reading books I remember loving as a child, but also discovering new books with my daughters. (A recent new favorite is “The Day the Crayons Quit”.)
I’m not one for resolutions, but I have decided it is important to role model reading at home so my girls keep at it. I have no excuses with a public library nearby and two Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood. I am committed to try to read at least one book for myself each month. My favorite kind of book is the page-turning kind you can’t put down…have any suggestions?
What role has reading played in your family? As I work on helping my youngest one learn to read, what tips do you have to help build a love for reading? (Oh yeah, and don’t forget to leave a book suggestion!)
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Eva Fannon. Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.
Photo credits to the author.