Library, reading aloud

Bennett and I like to go to the library. It’s quiet at the library. Peaceful. It’s free. There aren’t TV’s singing about Elmo’s World and there aren’t computers to check my email. Well there are computers, but I am too busy watching Bennett tear books off the shelf. 

Sometimes we go to Books and Babies. I love Books and Babies. Bennett loves Books and Babies. Simon hates Books and Babies. It’s a darn good thing he’s in school all day. I don’t have to listen to him complain any more about going. You don’t even have to sign up to attend. Our library has story-time every day, at different times. 

Little Miss Librarian Linda is so sweet. She just keeps on singing and reading and singing and reading. It doesn’t matter that babies are screaming, crawling, and babbling away. Her voice is so calm, so sweet. She hugs the kids. She says ‘thank you’ to everyone.

Now, I feel like it’s an appropriate time to talk about reading aloud to your babies.  Babies (and kids) should be read to at least 15 minutes of every day. According to Jim Trelease, author of The New Read-Aloud Handbook, reading aloud to children benefits them in numerous ways. Listed below are only some of the benefits a child receives from being read to:

  • Reading aloud provides a positive reading role model.
  • Reading aloud creates a bond between the reader and the child.
  • Reading aloud improves the child’s listening comprehension.
  • Reading aloud expands the child’s attention span.
  • Reading aloud helps develop the child’s language skills.
  • Reading aloud helps develop critical thinking skills and effective communication skills.
  • Reading aloud exposes the child to rich vocabulary.
  • Reading aloud exposes the child to good grammar.
  • Reading aloud stimulates the child’s imagination, creativity and curiosity.
  • Reading aloud establishes the reading-writing connection.
  • Reading aloud provides the child with a lot of background knowledge. The more a child is read to now, the more he/she will learn for use in reading later.
  • Reading aloud nurtures the child’s emotional development, raising his/her self esteem.
  • Reading aloud is FUN, providing the child with the pleasures of reading!

If 15 minutes seems like too much time at once, break it down. I always read to Bennett for a few minutes before nap and before bedtime. It was hard in the beginning, especially when he was more concerned with eating the pages. We persevered. Now he demands books before bed.

Simon has always loved reading. We’ve moved on to bigger chapter books now. He’s always begging for one. more. chapter. My favorite so far? The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. His favorite? Mr. Popper’s Penguins, written in 1938 but still a great story.

So in conclusion:

  • Love your library.
  • Read to your kids.
  • This post is boring but isn’t Bennett cute in that 2nd picture?

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