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.
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)