Monday, January 13, 2014

How to Read with a Three Year Old

Three and a half years have flown by since Greyson came into the world. I remember reading ALL THE THINGS I could possibly get my hands on before he was born, because I was sure I'd never be able to read again. And for a time, that was sort of true. Somehow, I managed to read The Passage while I was still on maternity leave, but once work kicked back in, my reading took a nose dive. But of course that was OK. I had a new little life to cherish. 

When he was about a year old, I posted about how motherhood changed my reading. My empathy meter went sky high, and the topics I was willing to endure changed quite a bit. 

Now here we are, three and a half years out, and my reading continues to evolve in relation to this little person. As he changes, our routines change, and thus the reading changes. 

Most notably, I spend a lot more time reading with him, and it's one of my favorite things. His favorite books are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, the BabyLit version of A Christmas Carol, and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (a Thanksgiving version of Swallowed a Fly). 

Even moreso than reading, Greyson interested in writing. He loves to practice "his G" and he loves to scribble on the tablet he's holding in this picture or copy things I write for him. I can always find him tracing his letters in the frost or sweat that forms on our windows or glass doors in the mornings before school.

One of my biggest priorities is making sure I have good  quality time with Greyson in the evenings since he's often at his dad's house on weekends. I rarely open my laptop during the week. However, I do take it a little easier on myself in the reading department. I let him see me read. If he's busy playing independently or watching a show I've seen eleventy times, I grab a book or read on my tablet. He will often snuggle up to me and I'll read a bit from my book or he'll "read" to me from the book I've chosen. I'm not sure how to raise a reader, since I'm not sure there's any way to really make sure it happens. David tells me Greyson will learn by observing me and the importance books play in my everyday life. 

Our nighttime routine is pretty set. He goes to bed around 8:30, we say our prayers together and give hugs and kisses, and I read while he gets settled and nods off. I always have an e-book going for this reason, and he expects that I'll read. If I don't, he's pretty unhappy that something is amiss. 

There are so many things to think about and observe. To worry over and hope for. I want him to be curious. I want him to be a good communicator. I want all of those things that every parent wants. And I certainly want him to be a reader, or at least appreciate what reading can do for him. 

All I can do is try my best to nurture that curiosity and show him that books are important. We do our best, and that's all we can do. :) 

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