Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reading Works for Us

I was contemplating what Works-for-me this Wednesday when I came upon this scene before breakfast this morning.
With out a doubt reading works for this family. We enjoy it in so many ways; for learning, to relax, a time to spend together with Mom before we have our afternoon rest time (during which time there is a bunch more personal reading that goes on), a time to spend with Dad before bed, and so much more.
Both of our older kids have turned into book worms (as in they actually read and do a lot of it, the younger two also really enjoy books but are still in the "looking at the pictures" stage) and can go through books at an incredibly rapid pace.
Here are some reasons that reading is good for you (and your family)!
  • For children being read to will help them with their speech development.
  • Reading improves your vocabulary (whether you are read too or read on your own.) This has definitely been true with Mara, she loves to use all sorts of "big" and unusual words but because much of the time she has learned them through reading her pronunciation of them can be a bit off at times. It will give a chuckle every now and then.
  • Reading aloud together is a great bonding time. This was true from my growing up years (our whole family would have books in common that we could discuss) and it has been true in our family too.
  • Reading can be a wonderful part of a routine (like nap time and bedtime). Kids thrive on routine and reading is a great way to settle down for sleeping.
  • Reading exercises your mind. There are so many things to be learned through reading.
  • Reading also exercises your imagination. When you are just reading (or hearing) the written word there are so many things that you imagine in your mind to go along with it.
  • Reading helps you to learn to focus.
  • Reading can help you build self esteem. As you read you learn a lot and become knowledgeable, Knowledge will help you feel more sure of yourself and also will cause other's to come to you for information.
  • Reading will improve your memory. As you read something you have to remember the details that belong with whatever you are reading. Stretching your "memory muscles" will help to keep them strong.
  • Reading helps you to be more creative. Reading gives you new ideas which you can then use in your everyday life.
  • Reading prevents boredom.
  • Reading gives you something to talk about. If you have read on a wide range of subjects you rarely have to feel at loss in a conversation.
  • Reading can help reduce stress by allowing you to escape for a time into another world.

Here are some of the ways we have been able to make our home a reading environment:

  • We have a large home library. That is something that I have been collecting since I was a child, Ken also collected a lot of books and we have continued to collect books. They have also been well appreciated birthday gifts.
  • We read to our kids every day.
  • We show them an example of reading.
  • We give them opportunity to read (we have a rest time every afternoon where the options of things to do are: sleep, just lay there or read or look at books.
  • We visit the public library regularly and have in our home at almost all times around 40 library books. We also take advantage of my parents home library and the church library.
  • We have also enrolled the kids in Pizza Hut's Book-it program which helped motivate Jonathan to read more.
  • The kids watch TV only about a veggie tale show every three weeks ( in other words, very rarely). Therefore reading is more attractive.

What do you enjoy about reading? What is your method for getting kids to read?


Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

When my children were little and I'd wake them up for school, I'd sit outside their rooms and read a Bible story while they stretched and layed quietly. Then I read a fictional story, but while I was reading the fictional story,they had to be getting dressed and brush their teeth. It made morning go as smoothly as possible and got everyone off into the day with good spirits.

Tristan! said...

I don't have any kids, but my mother always read to me and I am a life long reader! She also enrolled me in the book-it program and I remember it being a great family time together!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I think the best way to encourage a love of reading is to model it. We always make a point to read in front of our son. We read magazines, newspapers, novels, etc. And we take family trips to the library.


Ang said...

I think that it is so cool that they love to read. I must say that that is one thing that I loved about growing up and still do. I could have the same book read to me lots of times. I still reread books. I am also enjoying learning about your trip.

Abbi said...

Thanks to all of you for sharing your love of reading with me!

Nancy, I love how you fit reading aloud to your kids into a tight schedule!

Jenny @ Another Jennifer Speaks said...

Hi. I was just surfing around some blogs, and I came across yours. It’s pretty nifty and I’m really enjoying my stay here. I’ve bookmarked your site for daily visits, and I hope you’ll visit me. I’d love to have you. :) Have a great day and I’ll see you around the blogosphere. :)

martha said...

I think Dad reading out loud to us is what I miss most about home! I think when dad reads the bible aloud I remember and get more out of it than I do at about any other time.
Our family is loving reading the Little House books out load together. Molly is almost ready to start enjoying reading on her own.


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