Thursday, September 4, 2008

And The Cow Says Moo

I loved books as a child. Someone was always reading to me. This photo is of my Pappaw reading to me in "his chair". He only went to the 8th grade but he loved reading and passed that on to his family.

I learned to read when I was four. I say learned but there was never any sounding out of letters for me. I just *knew* how to read. I just started reading. My mom never really figured that out but it didn't matter. My youngest sister did it too.

My mom read to us constantly and she was always very animated when she read. Every character had a different voice. I read to my kids the same way. I don't really understand people that read to children in that monotone, "gotta read to the kids" voice.

I have always worked with children and before I had kids of my own, I collected children's books. And my mom saved all our books from when we were children and gave most of them to me. There is just something about childrens books. They are simple, straightforward, and usually have a lesson. Sometimes they are just fun and make no sense whatsoever.

My son loved for me to read to him. From the time he was born really. When he was a little over a year old, he would wake up in the middle of the night and cry until I would come into the room. He would hand me a book and I would lean over the edge of the crib, half asleep reading "Goodnight Moon" or "I Love You Forever" until he was ready to go back to sleep.

My daughter had little interest in me reading to her. She would wander around the room as I read to her brother, too busy to sit down with us. I tried to sit with her alone. She would listen for a second and then quickly dash off to do find something more active in which to involve herself. She had one favorite that I can remember - "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See". She could say the whole thing when she was two.

But lately I have come to realize that she must have been listening a little bit. My daughter is teaching 2 year olds. She loves to read to them. She laments that the books in the classroom are boring. "Mom, can you give me some of your books?" She reads to them with exaggerated expressions and all the characters have fun voices. "I remember this book from when I was little, this is a good one" she tells me. Tonight she wanted to go to the bookstore to pick out new books to read to the kids. She has good instincts.

I used to say that at least one of my kids loved to read but I guess really both of them do. That makes me happy.


Wanda said...

Yeah!!!! Someone else who love to read children's books in the way they should be read....With REAL DRAMA, and voices, and actions, and fun.....!! I so relate to you Tere, as that is the way I read to my children and now how I do my grandchildren... Sometimes we even act then out like a play.

You are a darling... and I'm so glad your daughter is working with children too. God bless those people who work with children and make it fun.


Ruth D~ said...

Reading should be as natural as learning to speak . . . if it's assimilated early the way you did and I let it happen for our own kids. good for your daughter. She'll make a difference.