Reading with Little Ones

When growing up I remember I was always reading: with my mom or on my own. As I reach back into my early memories, I recall my mother reading The Folk of the Faraway Tree to me and my sisters. I know she read us Noddy as well because I remember the collection we used to have. I have memories of sitting with my parents in the living room reading my book while they read theirs.

With my own children, I have created the same habits. When they were little, I read to them before bedtime – one, two, or maybe even three stories. I looked at picture books with them and discussed the drawings with them. We would lie on my bed, the three of us, all reading: me with my novel in my hand, and they with their picture books. Sometimes they would fall asleep but often just paging through the books relaxed them and gave them the energy to continue with the day.

The Impact of Nature AND Nurture on Your Child’s Reading Development
Photo credit: http://thestudyacademy.ca

Now I work with young children and I have come to realise that not all parents read every day with their sons and daughters. I have had to teach some of my students how to hold a book, how to treat the stories that they are reading with respect, and treat the books with care. Often I am repairing books: taping in torn pages or repairing a ripped page. I am hopeful that by the end of the school year, they will have learned to respect their reading material a little more. And to remember that there are others that would like to read the book that they are currently reading.

When I am asked by parents what they can do to ready their child for school, or even what homework they can do with their child, I suggest that they read with their son or daughter – no matter in what language. It is in reading with the little ones that you can teach them how to handle books, to look at the images of the picture book, to predict what the story is going to be about, to retell the story. And it is reading with little ones that you foster within them a love of reading, and a love of learning.

As I am readying myself for the start of the new academic year, I find myself relaxing with a book in my hand. Not only am I doing so, but so are my daughters. It is the visits to another world that I hope to encourage in the new crop of students I will meet in September.

Do you have the habit of reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014

(This post was inspired by Miz B’s Musing Mondays)

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23 thoughts on “Reading with Little Ones

  1. Reading, especially with little ones is amazing. You reminded me my reading memories when my son was a little boy 🙂 I think we all did the right thing by reading with them. I love reading dear Colline, and always there is (even more than one) a book that I am reading… Thank you, you always sharing us beautiful life things, and I love all your posts. Blessing and Happiness, love, nia

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    1. I think we did too Nia. A love of reading is a thing to be treasured. I can see that my children are not afraid of the necessity to read when they need to do research for projects, or when they have to read novels for school.

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    1. They do not – unless they realise the importance of reading to their young ones. It is a pity that they do not as a love of reading is developed at a very young age.

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  2. I’m often heard bemoaning the fact that I don’t have a child to read to anymore. As a book-loving parent my fondest memories consist of reading books to my two. Each child had their own favourites and they were great for all those times where you are waiting for the other child to finish some activity so I always had a stack in the car, books were not just for bedtime.

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  3. So true–I work in educational publishing and create marketing pieces promoting resources for teachers and parents to use to increase children’s reading skills–but I still think that one of the most effective (and inexpensive!) ways to help children learn to read is simply by reading to them. However, many parents today need to be helped to understand that philosophy.
    (My parents read to me from birth, and today, I nearly always have a book in my hands!)

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    1. Reading to your children does mean you sit down and spend about 30 minutes each day with them. As a teacher, I can see when parents have invested this time – especially when I see the children always have a book in their hands 🙂

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  4. I just don’t think people read as much as they once did, Colline. I remember spending many a Saturday afternoon with friends in the nearby library. For many children, I think reading has taken a back seat to a myriad of planned activities and, unfortunately, video games.

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  5. Using comics in English also helped to improve reading. Asterix was my sons favorite – I brought his collection with me and hopefully grand children will love it too!

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  6. I couldn’t agree more. I was an avid reader as a child, and read with my daughter from when she was a tiny baby. She had a soft plastic book that hung from her buggy and a tiny board book that she could hold in her small hands. Even after she could read herself, I continued to supplement it with me reading to her. I read all of the Narnia books and the whole harry Potter series to her. And she also had a huge selection of audio books to listen to in bed when I didn’t have the energy to read any more! Now she’s at University and still enjoys reading.

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