Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Reading Literature to Your Little People
One of my fondest memories of primary school is of one of my teachers reading us The BFG. We got to pick a pillow each from the reading corner, get comfy on the mat and enter, what was to me, this amazing world.
A friend of mine reads avidly to her children, and at the few homeschooling conferences I have attended, pretty much everyone reads literature to their children.
I've been so excited about reading literature to my children, and for the past few years have been collecting all my old favourites and classics from op-shops. So far we've read James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Paddington Goes to London. We are currently nearing the end of The BFG.
Its one of my most favourite times of the day. The kids fight to snuggle in against me and we all relax together in a big snuggly heap. Its bliss.
I started reading literature to Sprat when he was around 4 and a half. We still read piles of pictures books, but when I ask him to pick between a picture book and literature, he always pick literature. Danger Mouse (3) lasts through the first few pages before something else catches his attention, but he still sticks around, snuggled in and quietly playing with something else. Very rare, as Danger Mouse is hardly ever still and never quiet. The Girl (2) likes to sit on my lap, and like Danger Mouse, her attention span soon wonders, but she also sticks around. As they get older they will learn to sit still for longer and understand the story that is playing out to them.
Apart from the obvious benefit of snuggle time together, there are a huge amount of other benefits. It teaches your children that reading is fun. Its a great bonding experience, and provides some quiet intimacy, which sometimes is hard to get out of active little people. It exposes them to language, relationships, different personalities and characters and provides learning situations on good and bad etc. It builds listening and imagination skills as well as helping them develop longer attention spans. As a parent, you get to sit down and relax for half an hour, while teaching your children. And you get to re-visit all your childhood favourite books. Huge benefits from something so easy that takes a second hand book, a bit of time and a snuggly corner.