We’re delighted today to be introducing Lisa from My Mommy Place! We’ve asked her to share about her personal experience encouraging a love of reading in her son, and her excitement about it is contagious! Without further ado… Lisa!
“Mama open”, that’s the phrase my son says to me every time he hands me a book he wants me to read. His love for reading though started long before that…. it started at the beginning.
Growing up, I wasn’t much of a reader – it actually bothered me to have to read in school because I found I could get easily distracted and forget the words I had just read. It wasn’t until I was in my adult years that I actually learned how to love reading and thoroughly absorbed books I loved, I could now read a book two or three times over and have it play out in my head, the characters, the story, the scene – it’s all there. It’s a shame I lost so many years and perhaps a more developed education had reading been involved in my life from the beginning.
I knew when I was pregnant I wanted to read to my baby – there was no question in my mind that I needed to do for my child what I lacked in my childhood – the start of an imagination and learning. I would sit in my rocking chair with my new bundle of joy and read story after story as he drifted off to sleep. As he got older I could see him following along with the pictures as I described what they were, how he learned to turn the page once I was finished. I pictured in my mind that story playing out in pictures as he slept through the night – well sleeping through the night might have been wishful thinking back then!
My proudest moments came when I saw my son picking up books on his play mat and babbling along as if he could understand the words printed on the page, how he would often chose the books over the toys – he really was falling in love with reading…. and it all started from the beginning. The smile on his face as we read through books whether it was a story or learning animals or colors, he soaked it all in.
At 16 months old – he knows animals and the sounds they make, he knows the primary colors and believe it or not he knows Star Wars characters! You don’t need to be the best reader, you may even be a little slow at it but the benefits you are providing your child far out weighs the shortcomings.
Sure he may turn out to be smart or he may grow up being far better at math than reading (wouldn’t that be my luck!) but the moments I get where he curls up on my lap with a book to enjoy is what will be with me when he’s older.
For tips and tricks check out my post on My Mommy Place – Encouraging Reading With A Toddler