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Reading together

June 25th, 2007

When my children were little, we loved to read together out loud.

We visited the library several times a week to return books and check out a stack of new ones.

When is your favorite time to read together with your children? I read to my children in the middle of the afternoon when it’s downtime, and I read to them at bedtime. It is important to set a regular time and make it a habit.

Reading is an activity that is especially suitable for dads to do with their children. My husband is not a natural nurturer like I am. When the children are young, it may be hard for him to do anything to bond with our kids. Reading together is one of those activities that we found dads can do easily to engage their children.

Fathers will inevitably choose different topics to read with their children. That is a perfect way to expose the children to all kinds of literature.

To get a variety into the children’s reading diet, here are some suggestions:

*picture books with award-winning illustrations so you can appreciate good artwork

*books on space, plants, animals, and other nonfiction about nature

*children’s biographies of famous people

*how-things-work types of books

*children’s classics

*chapter books – mysteries and adventures are the best with a cliff-hanger at the end of each chapter

*pick up an encyclopedia, randomly open it up, and read that topic

*read children’s magazines and do those games and puzzles in those magazines

*riddle and joke books

I stay away from comic books, or graphic novels as they call them now. The vernacular writing does not make good reading material. I do allow my children to read the decent ones as a hobby, but not counted as official reading time.

You can see that as you read to your children, they will learn stuff that are not covered in school.

When do you start reading with your children? As young as possible. I love reading picture books with a baby, or one of those books with texture the baby can feel. Don’t you love those with pop-up pictures? Six months old is not too young to enjoy an age-appropriate book that is fun to read. It’s so cozy to cuddle up with a book you can enjoy together. You’d be surprised at how much you as an adult will learn from children’s books.

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