I’ve had quite a few friends confess that they are scared their little one won’t be a “reader” when he/she grows up. Usually this friend is someone who loves reading themselves and can’t imagine their child growing up without the thrill of a good story, read by flashlight, under the covers, into the wee hours of the night.
I’m guessing that the most effective way to cultivate a love of reading in your children is to love it yourself, but we moms love to over-worry things so here is a list of great resources, books, etc that I’ve found over the last few years that I’ve been inspired by to help my little blossoming book-lover. An amateur Reader Round-up, if you will. Also, I’ve been reading a lot about the Waldorf philosophy and it is very interesting that the founder Rudolph Steiner didn’t believe that a child should be taught formally (the 3 R’s) until they were 7! Until then, the most effective way to teach/inspire the child (reading or otherwise) was by imitation. Babies can be read board books, toddlers – picture books, and all young children should be TOLD stories so that they can foster good listening skills and their own creative imaginations! Enjoy…
- “10 Steps to Teaching Your Child to Read” (birth-5 years)
- “Strategies to Use when Reading with a Child” (for any age!)
- Tips for being a good Story-Teller (for any age!)
- An interesting read: “Do Preschoolers Understand Chapter Books?” (2-5 year olds)
- An awesome activity for older readers: Summer Book Club! (school-age)
- Amazing project for preschoolers: DIY Audio library! side note* this seems to be one of the best options for integrating technology with helping a child love to read. Most things I’ve read about iPad apps, LeapFrog toys, etc say their marketed “jump start” hasn’t been scientifically proven (and more has been done to show the negative effects of “screen time”). In general, a living, breathing human interaction is going to do MUCH more for your kid than a screen in terms of actually teaching them something. That’s why I like this Audio library idea – it’s still YOUR voice reading to them & they have to actively turn the pages.
- Blog post describing specifics of Waldorf philosophy of reading – I don’t know that I agree with all of it, but it is certainly interesting!
Of course some children will learn to read before 6 or 7, but how many kids are pressured to read by a certain “standard” in a certain amount of time (particularly boys) and end up accomplishing it, but out of fear instead of joy! I think the focus should be on being selective about what you read: good stories, beautiful illustrations, and timeless fairy tales – which help kids fall in love with reading.
If only I had an extra closet laying around…I guess this will have to do!