Reading, Reading, Reading
Reading is so important to me. You will always find me with a stack of books or magazines nearby. And yes, we also have the stack of magazines in the bathroom for uninterupted reading time. We have two walls of our bedroom that are totally lined with books from floor to ceiling. Recently I have discovered the wonderful world of Kindle. Guess what, now they have Kindle for your PC so you don't even have to buy a separate machine to use it. Oh man, you can't believe how fast I jumped on that one. We are so running out of room to store books in our house. With my new little tiny netbook I can take my favorite book with me anywhere. Now whether I'm waiting for soccer to get over or sitting in the park while my son plays, I've got a book to read. (As long as the battery holds out.)
Before we had even adopted our son we started buying books for him. His first book was bought long before he was born. While we were waiting for two governments to settle all the details of our adoption we sent a Spanish language copy of Goodnight Moon to his foster mother in Guatemala. She read this book to him often. When we brought him home it was easy to make the transition to the English version. Whether or not he understood the words you could tell that he was used to seeing the pictures. At five months old he really enjoyed being read to.
I've been reading from a very young age. My husband taught himself to read when he was only three years old. So you can see why reading to our son was so important to us. When he was tiny our favorite form of entertainment was to go to Barnes & Noble. We would sit in his stroller and play with his toys or nap while we read books and drank coffee. Then he became mobile. Boy was that a change for us. Our trips to the bookstore became less and less frequent. Usually we took turns with one of us sitting and reading while the other one took him to the train play area.
We still found time every day to read to him at home. The day came for him to start learning to read. We bought letter magnets for the side of the washer. We bought alphabet puzzles for him to play with. We bought little word magnets for him to put on a board and make sentences. I started out doing Letter of the Day. I put a big cut out letter on the side of the washer. I made sheets for him to trace the letter. We read books that started with that letter. We even sometimes cooked food that started with the Letter of the day. Guess what? He was not interested. Not interested at all. He could care less what the letters meant when they were put together. I finally quit trying so hard to "make" him read. My husband was read to put him in remedial reading programs. I decided to just sit back and see what happened. We would still work on his curriculum every day but I didn't emphasize the reading much any more. In the younger grades most of the curriculum was animated so there wasn't a lot of reading to do. I started pointing to the words as I read to him, but that's as far as I pushed it. When he was about six he started asking, "What's that say?" By the time he turned seven, he was starting to read street signs. As he began to play video games he started asking more and more for help in understanding the directions. Now, he's almost nine. He can read the directions to most of his games. He usually only has to ask one or two of the words. He likes to play a lot of the phonics games that we have found online. Every day I find him reading more and more. I can't tell you how exciting it is for me an avid reader to walk into a room and see my son with a book in his hand.
Do you like to read at your house? What are some of your favorite books?