Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Learning to Read

It always makes me smile when I come home from the library and sit down to read a book with my kids and find out that one of the books they grabbed off the shelf is familiar. Not familiar because I have read it to them before but because it sparks a memory of reading that book from my own childhood. Usually it is the illustrations that suddenly spark the memory but it is always fun for me to read books to my kids that I remember from my younger years.

I don't know how much of an early reader I was but I do remember my mom making little vocabulary cards and hanging them on my door with a magazine picture or a drawing of the word next to it. I know I could already read when I went to Kindergarden. My teachers didn't know quite what to do with me. I didn't fit into any of the "reading groups". I usually got to sit by myself and read some of the readers by myself while she taught the others their letters and such. Reading itself has never been the problem for me. I think the love of reading is what needed to be fostered and what I have and do try to promote for my own kids.

I always claim never to have taught Sophie to read. It is true I didn't have to go through any reading programs with her. But we have been reading books together since about day one. I think One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue fish was my favorite to read to her during her first year. Even as a little toddler she would sit with me and read book after book after book, one after another. I remember a lady that baby sat her at this young age was surprised at how many books and for how long she sat and read books with her. She just picked up reading from following along in books I read aloud to her. I would often point out the words as I read them and we read a lot of alphabet books together so it was a very informal way to teach her to read. She now reads just about anything and everything she can get her hands on.

It was and is a totally different story with my boys. I had a hard time getting him to sit still long enough to read books together. Ian would roll around on the floor and play with toys rather than sit and look at the pictures while I read to Sophie. Henry was the same way. He was much more interested in climbing than in reading. I am happy to say that they both now love books and we can read through quite a stack of books together, with them asking for more and more. I usually have to say when we stop. Ian isn't that interested in reading books himself, at least the words. He is happy to have me do the reading but both boys love to sit and look through books. They love Richard Scary books because the pictures tell the story. And they pick up ones we have read over and over again because they know the story and can tell it to themselves while looking at the illustrations.

I am very grateful to have found the Five in a Row curriculum. It was such a great guide as I went to the library to pick out books to read to my kids. It really helped me introduce my children to authors that they now love and subjects I wouldn't have thought a child would be that interested in. It was the perfect way to help me into the world of homeschooling. Some of the FIAR books we read or the go alongs we picked up to read with our story of the week have really become favorites in our house.

Each week when I go to the library, I return at least 30+ books and end up checking out at least that many. It is always amazing to me that we can go through that many books. We rarely return a book unread so that means we read at least that many books over the course of our studies and fun reading each and every week.

Books play such an important part of our days. For me personally they are my escape from everyday life. My husband loves to read non-fiction. I almost always have a novel going. I love getting into a good story that takes me to another time or place. As a mom, I think I need the change of scene. It is great to go and roam the English countryside with Elizabeth Bennett or James Herriot. Recently I have enjoyed going along with Sherlock Holmes as he solved a few cases. I love jumping into fairy tales and the world of magic and enchantment. Or taking a ride into the old west or maybe even through sherwood forest. It helps me forget the noise and frustrations that accompany being a mom of small children.

I just wish I found more time to read.

For more Wordful Wednesday visit Chocolate on my Cranium.


Chocolate on my Cranium said...

James Herriot's books are such a delight! I'm always amazed at how many books you read during the course of the week when you write your weekly reports. Your children truly are immersed in reading!

Godlonton Family Adventures said...

I also think it is a great way to escape! Sometimes if the book is really good, a little too EASY to escape into!

kjha said...

30 books a week ~ that's impressive!

Beth said...

My son loves Richard Scarry too - all the details for him to pore over and over again.

Esther said...

My son is seven and he still climbs all over the couch as I read, but don't be fooled...the child is listening, it suprises me the questions and ideas he comes up with from the books we read.

The Five in a Row curriculum looks interesting...thanks for the infomation.

Bibliophile said...

It's so wonderful to know that a love of reading has been passed on! Reading is such a JOY.

Angela said...

I am glad to see that you love FIAR. I am thinking about using that with my Elizabeth. It is so funny how we pic fiction or non-fiction. I generally prefer non-fiction, and have a hard time going off to the "countryside", my goal is to try and do more fiction. My kids can't figure out what is the matter with me!