Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It's Always a Good Time To Read!

For the longest time, David has loved being read to. In fact, it's one of the ways we had him stay on the potty when we were potty training him. To this day, every time he sits on his potty, he tells me "Mommy! Five big books, please!" I'll end up bringing him ten (or more) books and he'll look through them for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once, when I came to pick him from day care, he was following along to a book on cd called "Go, Dog, Go." When I tried taking him home, he threw a tantrum until I let him finish the story. Seeing how much he was into following along with books on CD (or cassette), we started taking these sort of books from various libraries, and let David listen to them and follow along while in the car. Even Julia started enjoying the stories, and would shout "mermaid!" to request that we put on the "Little Mermaid" CD. Two other books with CDs that he received for his birthday had also become quick favorites for David.

But given the choice, David prefers that we read to him. Lately, his attention span for listening to the stories has gotten significantly longer and we've taken full advantage of that. Early in the morning, Seth will read several stories to David before I even get out of bed. (This tends to leave Seth with no time to take out the garbage and to skip breakfast, so he's been getting to work late more often than not.) We also read before we leave for his day care. We read while David is on a potty before he goes to take his nap. We then read after his nap, and finish the day with a number of books right before bedtime.

While David has been getting a lot of attention, Julia was forced to catch up; otherwise she'd be left to fend for herself. Julia and David will sit together and we'll all read together before Julia goes to bed. Then Seth takes David to our bed and they read there for almost an hour before David's 9 P.M. bedtime.

Oddly enough, with all the extra reading, neither child has asked to watch television. Sure - if we have the tv on, they won't complain, but for a few weeks now they haven't requested or seem to miss it. David now prefers to crack open a book, and although he still can't read, he'll talk to himself as he pages through a story, repeating the bits of the story he's committed to memory and filling in the blanks as his imagination sees fit. And when I step in and ask him a question about the story, he will give me the right answer.

One of the things I love of the Bergen County Community Library System ( is that we can renew library materials on-line. Since we read the same book five (or more) times a day for over a month, there are times when it's so nice to simply renew the same book for another couple of weeks.

The next step is trying to get David to read. He can identify a few words, but it's pure memorization of the word as a picture than the sum of the letters. If his interest in books continue, perhaps it will fuel his desire to learn how to read.

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