Saturday, November 1, 2008

Read to your child every night

Every night? Every night.

Reading to your child could be the single most important thing you do to turn your child into a great reader. And if for some reason you "can't" read to your child every night, forthwith are my reasons why, in fact, you can.

*He's too tired.
(Make it a short book. Or a poem. Here's "Hoppity," a beautiful, lyrical poem by A. A. Milne that's fun to read and won't take up any time.)

*I'm too tired.
(Keep your eye on the prize - you're creating a reader.)

*It's boring.
(Get a book you'll both enjoy. He may want the same book every night, and that's fine for him but adults get bored with the same thing every night. So get Mary Poppins. There's something interesting on every page. Plus, you can burst into song - or English accents - if you want.)

*My child won't.
(Either you haven't found the right book, or he's somehow gotten the impression that it's optional. Stay your ground. Make the book fun by using silly voices. For inspiration, check out how Robert Munsch reads to kids.)

*I can't read.
(Get a book on CD. And by the way, how are you reading this blog? You can too read!)

*My husband puts him to bed, and he won't read to her.
(Then read to your child during her bath. Or during snacktime. Or colouring-time.)

Read to your child every night. It's really, really important.


Anonymous said...

My granddaughter (16 months old) loves to "read". There are so many books for little children out there. The best ones, as I'm sure you will agree, are the ones with few words, few pages, and lots of pictures that tell a story on their own. As you read to them, they can relate to the pictures. Sometimes they tell their own story.
She doesn't actually read yet, of course, but she jibber-jabbers her way through, using the most comical expressions.
I think she will be like her grandma and own her own library by the time she reaches adulthood.
Love this site Joyce, keep it up.

Joyce Grant said...

Thanks, Patty - great to hear your comments!
I love the fact that a lot of books for older children are being published with accompanying board books for younger kids. One of the best examples - and it's Canadian! - is Jeremy Tankard's "Grumpy Bird." If you haven't picked it up, do your granddaughter a favour and get it. I notice it's now available in a board book, which is wonderful. Great, great book. (And he's just published "Me Hungry" which is also wonderful - and there's a rumour about a new one called "Boo Hoo Bird" which will be coming out as well.)