Importance of Reading to Your Children.
Children love stories. Nothing will spark imagination and eagerness for learning more than a good story they can fall into. Reading to your young ones is vital, and equally as important as teaching them the ABC's.
Reading aloud to your children builds relationships between you and them; builds speech and vocabulary- which leads later to better academic skills and communication skills. It enhances their experiences, and gives them fuel for their imagination! This is important because, as children play, they will act out their imaginative skills in small scenarios and learn from the experiences, in ways that can help them later understand the real world better.
Reading to your children enhances their logical skills, and improves their concentration and self discipline.
Develop in them a love for a good story, and their own eagerness will make them want to learn what those letters are, and want to read it for themselves. Read with voices, characters, get into the story yourself. Use voice inflection, use gestures, smile, laugh when a character does; have fun with it yourself and your children will love story time.
Make sound effects- "whoosh!" or "ching-ching" went the swords.
Louis Carroll's Jabberwocky is fantastic for this! "Snicker snack!"
Or Edgar Allen Poe's the Tell Tale Heart; "thump-thump....thump-thump...."
Pause for excitement....Stand up for declaration! Tiptoe for a child crossing the room to peek... Hide behind the couch cushions and peek over to see....
Read novels, not just baby books! Read a series, jump into adventure! Read aloud! Reading novels encourages memory retention in young ones! Begin story time with a few minutes of chatting- by reviewing and asking your children- "what happened last night?" ... Big eyes might say back to you, "OH! The storm came and they saw the whale!" ... Allow them to recall, and watch for excitement - learn from them which characters they like best- encourage the feed back! (this actually is the beginning steps to book reviews later on- hint, hint.)
Read to read. Enjoy it yourself- pick books you've heard of and never read yourself- try out a new one! Your enjoyment of it spreads to the kids!
Did you know the magic wardrobe closet in Lion the Witch and Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis began in book one as a magic tree! Did you know that beyond the hype of the christian world's declaration of this series being about Jesus- (which if read straight through can be avoided, truly for secular students)- this series is a fantastic way to learn some history of England during the World Wars- when children were shipped off to far away homes to stay safe, as London was being bombed? Spark a history lesson from that one! Spark geography to look up the towns and places and maps!
Yay! Unschooling at it's best! Art lesson! Draw what you saw as we read it!
White Fang by Jack London
Project GutenbergOne of the most valuable resources I ever found was Project Gutenberg. An amazing collection of classics in e-book form ready to read. From Treasure Island to Tom Sawyer. If a book is 100 years old, Gutenberg has it, and the collection is so enormous you can read to, or with your child for years and not skim the surface of it vast library!
We read short stories and poetry from Edgar Allen Poe; poems of Emily Dickinson , Robert Frost, and Browning; collections of Stevenson, Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and the immortal "Call me Ishmael," i.e. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
All for free.
I found for my own research the original Dr. Montessori's Own Handbook by Maria Montessori, The Louisa Alcott Reader: a Supplementary Reader for the Fourth Year of School. Countless history books! Endless resources! Countless Nature Books, Biology, Chemistry, Astronomy! How about Charles Darwin's journals and published works? Galileo? The Biography or the notebook of DaVinci? Yes! It's there! All free!
Amazon offers a Free Kindle reader download for your computers here: Free Kindle Reader Apps
It does not require special purchases to read these books! Just your computer.
To read is a subject that could be talked about for pages and pages; and I will be writing more on how to take a story time page and make it into a language arts lesson- but that comes later. I'm scratching the surface right now- but I hope I can whet an appetite for some. Read to your kids, but enjoy it yourself as you do - and you will find yourself surrounded by a house full of people passionate for love for reading!!
Nothing is more valuable than that!
We'd even have friends enjoy story time when they came over!