Reading Together

Posts Tagged ‘parenting

The other day my family and I went to our local library to pick out books.  I try to make this a weekly occurence.  Of course, I bring home a stack of books every day (I just can’t help myself) but I also want my daughter to have the experience of choosing books to take home. 

A two year old’s method of choosing books to take home is basically pulling books from the shelf and throwing them in our book bag.  I often don’t “preview” the books until I get them home.  Or I am in a rush and see books I would like to read to my daughter and they end up in the bag as well.

So this method of choosing books have resulted in some not so great choices and I asked myself “should I be reading these before I read them to my daughter.” This is something I am in the practice of doing at work.  I have had some embarassing experiences being in a rush at work and going in front of a group of students and being surprised.  I really don’t have the time to read all the books my daughter and I choose at the library. 

Here are the ones we chose that didn’t turn out exactly as I expected:

Firefighter’s Thanksgiving by Maribeth Boelts

My daughter really like “fighterfighters” which is why my husband pulled it off the shelf.  Seemed harmless enough until the firefighters went out to fight a fire and one of them ended up in the hospital.  Not the upbeat story I was hoping to share with my two year old.

The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos

Rotten Ralph has used up eight of his nine lives and only has one more life to live.  On one page the little girl is looking for Ralph and sees a shape in the sky that could be Ralph’s ghost or something. Not really sure what they were going for here.  You don’t know whether Ralph managed to stop being rotten or did he get himself killed one last time.  Then you turn the page and there is Ralph happy as can be.  I found it a little twisted!

We only read this ones once before they were returned to our book bag and back to the library.  Not really what I was hoping for with either of them.  So, since I can’t preview every book before I read it.  What do I do? We managed to get through these mostly because of my daughter’s age and the upbeat voice my husband continued to read them in.  I think we also skipped a few parts here and there.  These books were definitely intended for older children who could perphaps appreciate the humor of Rotten Ralph. 

Oh well, atleast we enjoyed our reading together time.

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It has been awhile since my last post and I have a very good reason! The best reason actually.  My new baby boy was born on May 3rd.  He is wonderful but life has been very busy since then.  He is a month old and I have just been able to get back to writing recently.  In his short life he has, of course, been introduced to books.  He has sat in my lap on more than one occasion when I have read to his big sister.  He doesn’t look at the book though but stares at me while I am reading like I am the only thing in the world.  Motherhood is beautiful! I have read to him exclusively, although moments without his big sister around are few and far between and often when I am in need of sleep.  I enjoy reading my favorites to him: Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You. 

blackandwhiteI have also introduced him to the Tana Hoban books.   These are wonderful board books with black and white contrasting pictures.  Babies are better able to see these high contrasting black and white illustrations.  I use them during his “tummy time” to get him looking up.  There is only one object on a page and I tell him what they are and talk about them.  Talking to your baby is so important to increase language skills.  I also get big sis involved.  She will tell him what the pictures are as well and turn the pages.  It is never to early to read to your baby!

Books by Tana Hoban include the following titles: Black & White, White on Black, Black on White, and Who are They?

Most research agrees that TV and DVDs have no benefit to babies and toddlers. DVDs such as “Baby Genius”, “Brainy Baby” or “Baby Einstein” which claim to make your baby smarter actually have no benefit at all according to recent studies.
Best Practices for Parents
Most parents admit to allowing their baby or toddler to watch television. Television is a part of our culture and it is hard to avoid. This is despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children under age of 2 should not be in front of a television or computer. If a parent is allowing their child to watch television they must be mindful of the fact that their child is not gaining any benefits from their television watching and put limits on how much and when. They should also stay in the room with their child while they are watching. Parent-child interaction is one way to add some benefit to television watching. A parent can comment on what is happening on the screen and connect it to something in the child’s environment such as a favorite toy or book.

What will Make your Baby or Toddler Smarter?
A child’s first and best teacher are their parents. How can parents help ensure there child will have the best beginning? Try these tips. Please note all three tips require no special equipment or DVDs.

1. Read to your Child
Read to your child every day and begin at a young age. Babies enjoy hearing their mother’s voice and they find it very soothing. They also can bond with their father or other caregivers through the simple act of sitting down and reading a book or two. Have books everywhere in the house and allow your child easy access to them. Reading to your child is the best way for your child to develop language skills necessary to succeed in school.

2. Talk to your Child
Babies love the soothing sound of their mothers voice. Tell your baby or toddler about your day. Talk to him about what you are doing step by step. For example, “It’s time to change your diaper” or “Let’s button up your coat.” Go for walks and point out the cars, trees and birds. Say as much as you can to your child and he or she will develop great language skills later on. Also, sing to your child. Babies love being sung to and toddlers love music. You don’t have to have a great voice but songs and rhymes will also help develop language skills and higher IQ.

3. Interact with your Child
Get down on the floor with your baby or toddler and play. Let your imagination and inner child run wild and see what your child sees. Children learn through play and they learn through interacting with the adults around them. Sitting on the floor and interacting with your baby is the best way for your child to learn from you.

The best thing you can do for your child is give her a piece of you every day. So turn off that television and read, talk and play with your baby or toddler.TV and DVDs offer no benefit to babies and toddlers.

Resources:

www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/03/03/babies.watch.TV/index.html.

http://www.zerotothree.org/site/PageServer



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  • Amber: Thanks for sharing my blog with your readers! You summed up the reason for the name better than I've been able to :) Good luck in the giveaway!
  • Musing: I wasn't able to finish Twilight myself, but I'm always glad to hear of young people being turned on to reading. :)
  • juliannahelt: I forgot about Twelve Hats for Lena. It is a great book! Thanks for mentioning it.