If you have watched any of my live videos, you know that my mom is my rock and best friend. She helps run this business with me, so we are all forever grateful. She is a wonderful role model and loves my boys and Kyle with all of her heart. Even as she is in pain from her own surgeries, she is always putting others first. Recently, she had knee replacement surgery here in Gainesville, and I had time to sit in the hospital and reflect for a few days.
Being alone gave me time to actually sit, think, and write which is something I usually don’t have time to do. Just like you, being a mom takes most of our time., I feel like I am constantly on the go. However, one thing that I will never skip out on is reading to my children. Many of you know me, but if you don’t you will quickly know that I am a strong believer of the power of reading to children.
Here are a few steps for success to make time for reading:
1. Schedule out time each day to sit down and read to your child. Even if your child is older and can read on his/her own, still stop and read to your child. A kid is never too old to enjoy listening to stories.
2. Have an abundance of books in your house. Go the public library. They are a great resource and can help you pick books your child will enjoy. You can also reserve books online and then pick them up, which is what I usually do. This is how you can get the best books, as there are usually long waiting lists for new, popular titles.
3. Stop when reading to your child and ask questions. Example: Who are the main characters, why did he/she feel that? What do you think is going to happen next? Can you relate this to something that has happened in your life?
4. After reading, have your child tell you what they liked best about the book and give you a summary (the most important parts).
5. Limit screen time, and have your child read instead. :)
6. Have books that they can read and enjoy independently located around the house and in places they can access on their own. Keep books in your purse and also in your car. Even if your child is a baby or toddler, they will enjoy books. Steven is 2 and begs to have us read to him or to look at books on his own.
I have read to both of my boys since before they were born. As soon as they were born, I started reading at least 30 minutes a day to them. I promise you, the effects of this are indescribable. The love for reading that Logan (6) has developed is something I will always hold dear to my heart. He begs for me to keep reading at night and is already reading chapter books on his own. There is a lot of research that can give you exact statistics on the effects of reading, but just trust me that your child will have a stronger vocabulary, better comprehension skills, and develop a lifelong love of reading.
It has been said that in grades k-2, you are learning to read. Then in grades 3-5, you read to learn. Logan is already reading to learn on his own, and I credit this to him being exposed to literature every day. We are all busy—we are all too busy—but take the time and stop every day. Rearrange your night routine so you have 30 minutes to read to your children. If your children are different ages and enjoy different books like mine, read at different times. For example, I read for 30 minutes to Steven before his nap each day and then read for 30 minutes to Logan at night before bed. My husband will read to Steven before bed so he has time hearing Daddy read too. Kyle also reads to Logan. They have a special time each night lying in bed reading and talking about their day.
I am by no means a perfect mom. I make mistakes daily. This morning, poor Steven went to preschool without his spirit shirt on. One of my mistakes so far today. I do know I don’t want to make the mistake of not reading to by children. I want to be able to look back in 30 years and know that I spent one-on-one time with them reading and helping them develop a love for learning.
A tip I added. ;)