I had to read for 30 minutes every night. This was torture! I wanted to read MORE! Books have always been an escape for me. I relate so hardcore with the plot that I daydream about the next plot twist and even once caught myself praying for a main character to please please be delivered from her trouble! Like, what?!
Ideally, my kids would become natural readers! Completely forgoing the whole it takes two (DNA’s) to tango and each kid is different, I set up my first son for success. I didn’t have a lot of money or time and zero experience as an 18 year old girl with a growing human inside.
But a sweet wise woman told me that my son could hear me read to him! So, I did! I read children’s books and the entire Harry Potter series out loud to my growing boy in the womb.
Memory lane, y’all. It takes you to places where you see how your own kids could really benefit from elementary school you. Dr Seuss gave me confidence before kindergarten when I normally had a baby voice, but reading I took on the strong or silly or emotion filled voice of the characters.
When the rose colored glasses of home life became clear, a book escape was my resting place. As an adult, I crave all the self-help, Bible journals, historical romance, biographies, and memoirs to give me an “Oomph!” ahead in life.
Even still… they are an escape!
CREATE an environment where kids love to read. Making this reading nook for our girls, this is the picture I had in mind. Sunlight pouring in. A quiet corner at the top of the house in their room. Lillie-Mae reading out loud to Mindy. Even if you don’t have the “perfect” nook, imagine and create anywhere in the home.
SEASONS change, and so can books! These shelves celebrate the first day of fall with books about Trick or Treating, picking apples, being thankful, or illustrations of leaves changing.
SPACE to grow is a new season of parenting as we now have a sixth grade boy (who brings a book every. single. place. he goes! and yes, Harry Potter is his favorite!). Learning the importance of a kid, having influences and encounters outside the home is so important. Our girls can’t go to Bear Country and have some honey with Little Sister, but they can dive into the pages of a book!
Mr. Guess is an artist, so “pretty books” are something he really enjoys. Most of the kids’ books come from McKay’s Used Bookstore or are gifted from family members (they too see that our kids love to read!).
I wrote a lot more about fostering a love for reading on our local Mom’s Blog. Do you kids like to read? What are your favorite books now or as a child?
FALL BOOK LINKS (reminder, most of these were bought used and/or local all have been collected over time):
From Seed to Pumpkin , Bella’s Fall Coat , I am a Warrior Goddess , I’ll Always Love You , The Biggest Pumpkin , Where’s My Mummy , The Berenstain Bears go on a Ghost Walk , Secrets of the Apple Tree .
Hard to find/collector title: A Farm by Lenmart Rudstrom
I don’t think we did anything special except be intentional with our kids reading. They see us read, listen to audiobooks in the car together, and we take the time to read to them. Each child has read on their own pace.
Dallas was 4 and in preschool when he started to sound out letters then figure out how they made words. A whole new world opened! Lillie-Mae was conservative about giving reading a go. It took her mid year of kindergarten, but she was the youngest in her class also. Mindy is reading her little books 6 weeks into kindergarten and will soon be six.
Relating text to self and text to world is a HUGE life lesson.
I thought for sure that I would ALWAYS know the books my kids read, but I literally couldn’t keep up with our oldest after third grade. Our homeschool days were spent reading together on the couch… but separate. Still get butterflies thinking of those sweet moments seeing his mind soar!
Y’all, I just want you to be inspired to think outside this ticking time (box) of life. Be intentional with your kids. Reading slows down their minds but stretches it too. Reading is a friend. Reading teaches you things about a world you have yet to explore. Reading is innocent. Reading is free! Reading opens doors a front door to discovery and imagination.