Saturday, May 10, 2014

Create Moments to Remember When You Read with Your Child

Special Readers' Edition for Mother's Day 2014

Do you read often with your child? Have you considered reading aloud with or to your teenager? When was the last time you and your daughter read a book together and followed the reading with a related activity? So it's been awhile, has it? What better time than now with Mother's Day approaching to get right back into the "swing" of reading with your child---AND enjoying it, too!

When my children were very small, I read aloud to them almost daily as we sat together in the rocking chair. The soothing movement of that now well-worn piece of nursery furniture and the pleasant cadence of reading our sons' favorite books made for a comforting activity for all of us in the family. Just glancing now at that chair brings back such great memories.

In those early years, one book that we read again and again was The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. It was certainly a favorite, and it helped to teach the boys that one should be determined, never giving up in the face of difficulties. Another book they liked to read often was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone about Grover of Sesame Street fame. However, that was a book we were careful NOT to read to them right before bedtime!

Later, even when the boys were young teens in late middle school, my husband and I read aloud to them at the end of a day when they were in bed and (hopefully but not always!) ready for sleep. For some weeks, I can recall reading them the chapters from Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. and Ernestine Gilbreth until we finished the book together. Our two eldest sons liked the book so much that they had asked if they, too, could do some of the same activities that the Gilbreth Family had done in the book. In fact, that is how our family came to establish what was known as the Weekly Family Meeting. All four of our sons still talk about this today---and the youngest is in his mid-twenties!

So, how can YOU create some great memories while reading to your child? Aside from reading the books we did as a family, we believe there are many other tips and strategies to offer you as well. To follow here, we have gathered some resources to help you with this. However, before you begin, please keep in mind that it's never too late to read with AND to your child or teen. In fact, we even know a few adults who read often to their spouses. You might try reading a favorite poetry selection to your "significant other" and enjoy the response or reaction that results. With your child or teen, consider reading aloud a classic short story with perhaps an unexpected twist at the end (Choose Your Own Adventure books or some of O.Henry's short stories might be good candidates for intermediate readers or teens, respectively). Who knows? You might just create a wonderful moment to remember and the first of a long series of good memories!

Happy reading, parents---AND children, too! Happy Mother's Day to ALL our mothers, as well!

Reading Resources for Parents

The Reading Toolkit (The ABCs of Reading)
by Zoƫ Kashner of Scholastic Books
Every parent’s toolkit for raising successful readers, including leveled reading, reading strategies, activities, book lists, and more (for parents of children ages 6 to 13).

Seven Things You Should Be Doing as You’re Reading to Your Child
by Jenae of I Can Teach My Child
Specific strategies parents can implement while reading to their children.

Where to Find the Best Help-My-Child-with-Reading Ideas and Activities
from Imagination Soup
If you find yourself needing new ideas for reading with your children, check these Pinterest boards.

Adventures in Reading
by Christie Burnett, early childhood teacher, presenter, writer & editor of Childhood 101
Simple ways to encourage a love of books and make reading a part of every day.

Producing Lifelong Readers
by Hillary of Pulling Curls
3 things that can help produce lifelong readers in every family.

More Parent-Child Reading Activities
Pinterest board for additional parent/child reading activities---ALL in one place!

For more information on customizable reading tools for focus and tracking challenges, please visit: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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