As a mom of four I understand the excitement of seeing children walk for the first time, using the potty, and saying their first words. We are amazed and proud of our children’s many accomplishments and we should facilitate an environment that can aid n our children reaching their potential.Growing up I had a love for reading, often times I would walk to the library with my twin sister just to pile our backpack with books. My mother supported us in our literary passion by giving us the freedom and sense of independence by allowing my sister and I to spend as much time in the library as we wanted as often as we wanted. I found myself there every weekend for hours exploring the sections of endless reading material. My mind was open my eyes was racing there was so much to explore at my fingertips I could explore the world.
At 27 I am still the same way, I enter the library and all my subjects, dreams, and ideas come to life, because I know there is a book in there that will capture my thoughts and aid me into the things I am striving to achieve. My oldest son whom is now three started reading when he was two years old. He is now reading kindergarten books and has a strong love of reading. Not only did we use the Your Baby Can Read program we took it a step further. Parents have asked time and time again what did we do to have our son reading books at two years old.
Here are a few tips to aid parents in raising readers, young and old:
Keep Books Accessible
My husband often says visual is memorable and I am sure we have heard of the saying “Out of sight out of mind” if you have books out of the reach of children, how will they get to love what they do not know? If your child is young has a habit of ripping pages and being rough then I suggest to have board books available and the paperback books for special occasions when the chid can be monitored. It has even helped us to have the books in themes around the house. Upstairs by our bed we have the night time books, with such classics as “Goodnight Moon” and our family favorites “Goodnight Fred” “Goodnight Pillow Fight!!” and “Goodnight Gorilla” by our kitchen we have books such as “Eating the Alphabet” and “Things I like to Eat”.
Make Reading Exciting!
My husband and I do a blogtalk show three times a week mashaAllah and one show we did was about raising children to love reading. One thing we have seen that has worked in our home is that we made the book exiciting for our children. Key advice is to make the book come to life! Especially at such a young age where some children cannot sit still through a whole book. Alhamdulilah we have never had that problem! To this very day our 1-year-old, 2-year-old, and 3-year-old can sit still and listen to us read for hours mashaAllah. The boys would have us read the same books over and over again. How many times have I read “Green Eggs and Ham”? I lost count! We also discuss with them what they see and think when we are reading. Engage children! Why was he mad at Sam? and Where does the cat not like to eat green eggs and ham? Not on a ___? Not with a _____? Get them involved.
Make Activities Compatible With The Book
This is the super fun part! We take the books and bring them to life by making activities that match the book. For example we read the book “Caps For Sale” and this is a classic story about monkeys who takes a street peddlers caps from him when he is taking a nap. The book is very interesting but to bring the book to life we made a tree on our wall, colored some monkeys and put koofees on their head. The boys loved it and so as we reviewed the book you could see the boys looking behind them at the wall and looking at the monkeys. Once we came to the point in the story where the monkeys were wearing the hats they screamed and pointed to the wall at their monkeys. It was a good feeling, and if you enjoy homeschooling and working with your child as I do, then going the extra mile to see the excitement and joy on their faces when their books come to life would be worth it. Even the night-time books such as “Goodnight Moon”, you can have children color the moon and the objects mentioned in the book and put it above the bed, every time you read “Goodnight Moon” they will think of what they made with you.
These tips are what we have done in our home and what we are still doing. My husband and I love to read and we spend our days doing that, it also helps because children imitate what they see, you want to make the best impressions! Be the example you want your child to see and they will look to you and imitate you. Making reading a family time event helps because it aids in promoting bonding, reading independantly, and a love of learning. When you are reading point to the letters and make a game out of it, ask your child where is the word “dog” or “where is the letter D” there are many tips and inshaAllah I will continue to write more on the subject.
Keep working with your children all the dedication hard work and time pays off every day and please remember always keep Allah first!