"Right after lunch Josiah, Kara, and I picked out our stories for story time. We snuggled on the couch with Mommy and read them. I was so happy ‘coz it was my day, and I got to pick two stories today. I picked Curious George and a book about astronauts. Story time is my favorite time of the day.”
“Jonathan’s Journal” *
Read Aloud Tips
1. Make books a big part of your life from the beginning! Our kids knew that books were important to us. It isn’t uncommon for us to have forty to fifty books and talking books under our tree on Christmas morning. When our kids were babies and toddlers, they had little baskets with their baby books in them. These were their book baskets—and putting their books in them after play time was one of their first chores!
2. Make reading aloud a big deal from the beginning. As I said in some earlier posts, I started having a story time with our babies when they were several months old and were being weaned from one of their nursings. I would replace that afternoon feeding (after the baby had eaten food for lunch and had milk out of a sipper cup) with a story time. It was short—at first only two to four minutes—but it became an integral part of baby’s schedule.
3. Make joining into “older kids’ reading” a big deal—and a privilege that is earned. Once our toddlers became preschoolers, they got to join our regular “before nap” story time. This took the place of their short story time with Mom alone. We made a huge affair of the little joining us. The other kids were always so excited to have the toddler come into our snuggle and read time! However, if the toddler didn’t lie still and be quiet, he got taken to his crib early and missed the rest of story time. The toddler soon learned that joining regular afternoon story time was a privilege that was to be earned, not just something that he got to do at a certain age or time.
4. Let children choose story time books too. If you have enough time to really do a lengthy story time, go for it. I had long story times with my preschoolers and elementary children, so everybody got to pick one story, and the person who was “it” that day (see post two days ago) got to choose two stories. I had library books on a library shelf, then, of course, our huge collection of books to choose from. Choosing a story or two each day was really exciting for the kids. Sometimes they would talk about it or ponder it all day long!
5. You choose stories too. Kids will often pick the same books over and over again, so I always chose a couple or a few (depending on the length of the books that day) to read each day too. The children often found new favorites through my choosing of books—and oftentimes they were books that they maybe would not have picked themselves, etc. Sometimes I would choose stories that went along with what we were studying in homeschool (i.e. “You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Pioneer” when we were doing American History or “Hiawatha” when we were doing poetry, etc.). Other times I would choose something similar to what they were picking or by the same author, etc.
Continued……more reading tips coming—including suggestions and reviews!
*For the complete story of “Jonathan’s Journal, follow this link: http://positiveparenting3-6-5.blogspot.com/2010/03/day-seventy-eight-introducing-jonathans.html