Friday, August 2, 2013

Have You Read With Your Kid Today?

I always looked forward to the day that I would get to pass on my bookish love to my own children.  I would hoard my old books, some of which were very much so falling apart, for the sole purpose of passing them on.  Stacks of Amelia Bedelia.  Scatterings of the Boxcar Children, American Girl.  Collections of poetry and fairy tales.  I kept it all.

Then I hit that point where I wondered: Will my kids even like to read?  This was an honest fear in my life.  The one thing, the one hobby that I love without a doubt is reading.  What if my kids hated it?  My husband isn't a reader.  I was used to that.  But how would I handle it if my children could care less about books?

Yes.  This was something I honestly stressed about.

But fear not.  My oldest son, who is now a little over 5-years-old and prepping to start Kindergarten in less than a month (Ah!) is exactly what I always hoped for.  He is a book fanatic.  He is already reading (quite well I must add), already writing, and already creating his own little stories.  He blows me away with his passion for the written word.  And his little brother, who is now 3, is quickly following suit.

I love this.
I adore this.

The public library here does a reading program for children called Dig Into Reading.  A few weeks ago I signed my oldest up, and he has ran with it.  He records his time spent with books (listening to books, reading books, looking through books...) and as he hits certain goals he gets little prizes.  After only three days in, he had already hit the 90 minutes goal and happily left the library with an arm full of goodies.  Today he hit the 180 goal and is nearly to the 270, along with finishing the special challenges list.  And he is still asking for more.

The best part?  He wakes me up nearly every morning with:
"Hey Mom!  Know what we should do today?  Read more books!"

How can I argue with that?

I love reading with my kids.  I love seeing their excitement as a story unfolds before their eyes.  I love relearning the joys of a book.  I love watching as they grow, as they learn, as they fall in love with books.  My fear was unfounded.  There was no way my babies could NOT love books.

So now I ask you:  Have you read with you kid today?

If you haven't, what is stopping you?  On average, it takes about 5 minutes to read a simple children's book.  Put down your work.  Step away from your computer.  Pause your movie.  And take 5 minutes to open a world up to your child.  It is a small amount of time, but boy does it make a monumental difference.  You don't have to be an amazing reader.  You just have to be an amazing parent.  The art and love of books is a dying thing.  We can't let this happen.  If you have't read with your kid yet today, do it.

And if you have... do it some more. 
That is what I am off to do!

This is what happens when I tell my 5-year-old "Pick whatever books you want."

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