Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mommy, Read Me a Story

I just spent a very emotional afternoon going through our homeschool books for a garage sale. I realized that they are more than bound paper. They are representatives of my son’s obsession with dinosaurs and desire to write comedy, and my daughter’s fascination with fairy tales and interest in interior design. Our family’s life is wound through those pages.

I’m sure all of you agree. Homeschoolers and books go together like mice and cheese. Reading to our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give their emotional and intellectual lives. Here are some of the reasons you should make reading with your children a priority.

• Memories….My family still quotes favorite lines from Ramona the Pest –and teases me about my Irish accent I attempted when reading Jamie O’Rourke and the Giant Potato. They were precious times spent learning and laughing.
• Cognitive Development….Studies have shown that children whose parents read to them end up as better readers. Some have even suggested it may the single most important common denominator in successful students. When someone reads to a child before he can read (decode) himself, he learns to listen, pay attention, keep track of details, picture what is happening and anticipate what is next in the story. By learning this at an early age, the child can then concentrate on decoding when he begins to read for himself because he has already mastered the other factors of reading comprehension.
• Physical Touch….I don’t have to explain that cuddling up to read a good book together just feels good, which is an important part of a child’s (and mother’s) emotional well-being. It also makes a positive association with reading in the child’s mind.
• Discussion….Everything you read together can then be discussed and evaluated right away, helping us as parents to reinforce values in our children’s minds.

I wouldn’t trade a minute I spent reading to my kids. We read together until they were in high school, and many of my children’s strengths resulted from those times.

What are your family’s favorite books? Share them with us!


  1. I agreed completely, Shelly! I even remember reading on long trips in the car. The minute I would stop for a drink of water, my kids would call out: "Read more!" I'd end up with no voice, but we loved those books.

    Some of our favorites: "The Night the Lights Went Out", "The Courage of Sarah Noble", the unabridged version of "Winnie the Pooh". We even read "God's Smuggler" and "The Hiding Place" on long trips. Fantastic memories.

  2. A new favorite I just read to my son is the "My Father's Dragon" trilogy. Great for 5-6 year old boys! Laughter came often.
    My girls are reading "The Mysterious Benedict Society" series. Great character development in those books - and the best of all - they can hardly wait for my husband to read aloud to them at night. And they could easily read them on their own.
    Books and family bonding go hand in hand in our family! I have too many favorites to list!!!!