Photo by Joel Bombardier
This post concludes my series about reading to children. Please feel free to catch up if you've missed any entries along the way. Previous posts discussed why reading aloud is important, creating unique reading spots, and who needs to read to our children.
Today let's talk about what we should read to our little ones.
With thousands of children's books published each year, choosing can feel overwhelming. Poor quality literature may entertain, but it's also mind-numbing.
High quality literature is thought-provoking as well as entertaining. It inspires greatness and character development, and doesn't shy away from dealing with difficult topics.
Think of it this way: it's our job to nourish our children's minds as well as their bodies. My kids really love candy, but I don't allow them to eat large amounts every day. It wouldn't be healthy. I need to pay the same attention to the quality of reading material they digest.
Here's how to choose the best books for your little ones:
1. Read the books you loved as a child.
A mother's enthusiasm goes a long way. Books can be like friends to children - how fun to introduce our little people to long-lost pals from our own past! Only bring into your home titles you don't mind reading again - and again (& again!).
When you visit the library, look for children's books with illustrations and topics that appeal to you. It isn't only about what our children enjoy - it's also about sharing our passions. This way we learn from each other.
2. Help them find the books they love.
Photo by Desirea Rodgers
Follow your child's interests. I've read every book about garbage trucks in our local library over the past year because of my son Jonathan. When my kids ask a question or mention a new interest, I jot it down. Then when we go to the library we can do some research. This coming week we'll be hunting down books about bones, architects, and plumbing.
3. Use a guide to help you choose.
Photo by PL Youth
It's easy to gently steer our children's interests when they're young. Why give them a taste for ground beef when we can offer filet mignon every day? By giving them the best from the beginning, they'll grow up to choose it for themselves.
When we intentionally approach our children's literacy, it's simple to create lifelong readers and learners.