I have always had a love of reading, I don’t know where they came from but I knew after I had my first child that I would want to read to them. Reading is such an important part of learning for a child but I never really saw it as that. It was always just a way to have a bonding moment with them. To share something that they would enjoy.
Today’s post is about why I chose to read to my kids, why it seems that the schools have to practically beg parents to read to their kids and why I think you should just…do it. So let’s dive in!
Bedtime stories are where it is at. Those small moments where you cuddle up with your little one and read them a different small tale every night. It was an automatic thing that I did. It was never something that I had to be told to do, I just assumed that that’s what you did. You read a bedtime story. I loved sharing those with my children. I felt like it was just the most natural thing to do.
When my youngest started preschool was when we got notices about how important it was to read to your children. How it helps them to learn to read, to enjoy reading and helps prepare them as they get older to read on their own. I remember thinking that it was kind of sad that parents had to be told to do this. Why wouldn’t you read to them?
It was a conversation my husband and I would have each time we got something home. We couldn’t understand why the push for reading was so hard. It didn’t stop when she started kindergarten either. It just got to be more and more. It was when she was in school that I found out about the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. It’s an amazing program that will send your child a book every month until the age of five. We only got to do it for a couple of years because I didn’t know it existed until my youngest was three.
The books are completely free and they are age appropriate so they will change as the child gets older. It’s the perfect way to bring books into your home without having to spend a fortune and it gives you books to read to your kids, or for them to read to themselves.
I would like to think that my reading to my kids gave them the desire to read on their own, my oldest is currently not into reading but thankfully that came after she devoured Harry Potter. My youngest however, loves to read. Currently she is really into Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It’s not my favorite, that Greg Heffley is a baaaad kid, but she loves it so I won’t begrudge her reading choices.
Ultimately, reading to my youngest helped her read at a higher level than her age, she is reading chapter books for ages 8-11, and she’s only seven. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is to me. I want her to be able to pick out books that we have on our shelves and enjoy those little worlds that I fell into too.
So why do I think all parents should read to their kids? Because why wouldn’t you? Sitting with my kids to read to them has always been a perfect time to show them that they mattered. It is a time to focus on them, sharing a book with them and teaching them a new word or some wonderful moral story within the book.
I know that there are plenty of parents that work full time and feel like they just don’t have the time. Or there are plenty of parents that think books are too expensive. Use the Library. Shop second hand. Take the time. It will mean so much in the long run that you will know that it’s worth every second that you spent with them.
Don’t take this time for granted. Before you know it they’ll be thirteen and don’t want you to read them bedtime stories anymore. But if you are lucky you’ll have helped ingrain a love of books that will keep their brain growing even if they are alone.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you read to your kids? I don’t write this to pass any judgements so I do hope that anyone out there they may read this doesn’t take offense but maybe this could help show them why it’s important. I’d love to hear all your thoughts in the comments section! Stay wonderful!