Thursday, May 13, 2010


I remember vividly my mother reading to me often as a child. I honestly don't remember how she found the time to, things were pretty hectic in those days, but I definitely remember sitting next to her on the couch and reading. My Aunt Jeri (who is a librarian) has always given us books as presents for as long as I can remember, which books we are now able to read to our kids. I have always enjoyed reading but have never been much of a reader until the past couple of years in which time I've been trying to play catch up. (My amazon wish list is about to break 300 and I tend to add about a book every other day)

Sarah and I have talked at length about how we want to read to our kids consistently (we do a pretty good job), have our kids read well and enjoy doing it. I know that when our kids are school age things get increasingly busy and time for reading is scarce. Since many of you have children that are older than ours I was hoping that you would share your insights on how to help kids have a self-sustained love of reading. Also I am trying to amass a Thomas Jefferson quality library which will also include intermediate level books. What books do you think should be on the list? What did you love reading when you were in school?


danielle said...

i remember mom always reading to us too and all the books we would always get from Jeri!

kjirsten said...

My tip would be to find series that your children enjoy. It keeps them reading - from book - to book - to book. Like THE MAGIC TREE HOUSE series for young grade-schoolers, and THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, HARRY POTTER, LEVEN THUMPS, PERCY JACKSON (Lightning Thief), for older readers. For little ones, I just think you do what you're doing -- read, read, read to them (In fact, it's good to continue to read to your kids who can read on their own, too. Quinn and Liam pick a book they want to read together, and Quinn will read out loud to Liam at night, as well as Liam reading his own book to himself. I do the same with Caleb, who can now read on his own too.) And find books that interest them (like Thomas and trains for Jack -- it was Animals for Caleb, Cowboys for Luke,etc.)

Liam just finished a series, and he was just saying last night how bummed out he was that it was over. He's in a strong habit of reading before bed.

Anyway, that was probably way too much information! (oops!)

One last tip, I think it's also important to teach by example. So, letting your kids see you read, or talk about what you read, or see your enthusiasm about reading, all has an impact.

Wow, long answer . . . sorry, we have the same goal as you guys concerning our kids and reading, so it's on my mind a lot as well.

Hope some of this helps (it's all pretty common sense, I guess!)

Carrie said...

we have the same goal, too. we don't have too much more experience than you but i guess colsie IS a little older than jack.

we go to the library and pick a chapter book (the last one we read was a younger version of huck finn), then once or twice a day (usually in the morning after scripture and prayer and sometimes also at night before bed, if they wouldn't rather do picture books), we all sit down as a family and i read a chapter or two. sometimes they're dying for it to be over and sometimes they beg for another chapter (which i LOVE).

colson's WAY better at listening than griff so you'll probably want to wait a year or so to read the bigger books with jack, but it's something i think has been great. the kids can play with a quiet toy or work on a quiet project (coloring, painting, blocks, etc) but if they start talking or not paying attention, we remind them to listen.

i could be wrong but i think this has really helped their attention span. i've noticed especially at church. they'll sit and play with a car or something in sacrament meeting and i don't think they're listening, but then colson will come whisper, 'hey, that's what we talked about in fhe last week!' and i know he's listening.

some other books we've read are 'a wrinkle in time', 'the beastly arms', 'charlotte's web', and 'pinnochio'. he LOVED pinnochio (we thought it was a little strange.)

caroline said...

I think that what you guys are already doing now is what's going to help them have that sustained love of reading. I think back to when Josh was little and he loved being read to and so have our other monkeys...I think mostly because of the closeness and time they got to spend with us- so I think it triggers good feelings for them (I'd like to think so anyway:) and now Josh (and even Zach and Savannah) are good readers on their own and Bella loves to be read to. They each know it's what we do as a family and they've come to expect that and enjoy that ritual. As far as what books to add to your list...I will have Josh talk to you:)