Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Why I Love Reading To My Kids

After I finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia to Andrea and Eason, I wasn't sure what I was going to read to them next. There were a few books I was considering. Ever since I heard an interview with the author Tom Reiss on the radio I wanted to read The Black Count. I always thought I would like to read it with Eason, but glancing over it it seemed quite mature, so I was a little concerned, especially since Andi would likely be listening as well. On the other hand difficult emotions have their place in children's stories as well. I considered reading them something else and just reading this myself, and then I realized at least one of the reasons I love to read to my children.

Obviously reading to your kids is important. I think it might be the single most beneficial thing a parent can do boost their learning. After all, reading is the foundation from which practically all other learning depends. Reading to your kids is like feeding them vegetables. You don't have to do it, but...

Plus when you're reading to your kids you get to snuggle up with them for practically however long you want. (Okay, maybe reading to your kids isn't exactly like feeding them vegetables.) But that's all besides the point...

When I considered reading it to myself, it reminded me of going to the movies by myself. While there's nothing wrong with going to the movies by yourself, and I've watched many movies by myself, I certainly prefer going with a friend. Not only do I enjoy being able to discuss the movie afterwards, but during the movie I like the feeling of having someone else to share the adventure with. I feel the same way reading a story, but even more so, since the adventure in a book will last far longer than one in a movie. If I'm going to go on some imaginary adventure, why wouldn't I want to take my kids along for the ride. The prospect feels less fulfilling.

Check out some of the books I've read with Eason and Andrea.

Jamie Zibulsky, author of Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers makes the case for reading to your infants.

The Black Count tells the true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo, General Alex Dumas, who was the son of a black slave in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), and rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.

We just started, but so far we're all engaged and it sounds like it's going to be very exciting, and probably very emotional as well.

Here's the audio from The Leonard Lopate Show:

[Update 11/23/2013] We finished reading it.

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