I always knew that teaching my kids to read would be an amazing experience for me. I think I looked forward to it my entire life. I was never one to dream of being a mother, never played with dolls or dollhouses as a child. But, oh, did I love to read! I can remember my very first book that I read all by myself:
It was published in 1971 and had these scratch-and-sniff stickers in it that I loved so much. But mostly what I loved was the sense of accomplishment at reading it all by myself. I was probably around 4 years old.
My mom claims she never taught me to read, but I think she MUST have read to me as a child. How else would such a young child learn? It's that closeness that toddlers crave, they say. That's what makes a child learn to love books. Since I was less than 3 years old by the time my mom had two other kids behind me, I'm guessing that if she ever DID stop for a moment to read me a story, those few moments of her undivided attention must have made a big impression on me.
So here I am so many years later, a mom myself with lots on my plate. From the time my kids were little I had one rule for myself: no matter what I was doing, if they came to me with a book asking to be read to, I would stop and do it. That's a difficult rule to adhere to, but I've stuck to it (ok, maybe a few minutes of delay a couple of times depending on what I was elbow-deep in.)
William starts preschool in a few days and he's so excited. (I will do another post soon about all the schooling that's happening this year because we're trying something a little different.) Anyway, he will go to preschool five days a week, but for less than 3 hours each day. That's a lot of driving (20 minutes each way) but I think it will be worth it. He will absolutely LOVE the interaction with others, especially adults, and hopefully they will give him lots of praise and accolades for how well he reads. So far, these are a couple of his favorite books:
I loved this one as a kid, didn't you?
I was right in my belief all those years ago that teaching a child to read is the most amazing feeling. I love that he knows that street signs actually say something now and that he can tell me what store we're going in before I even stop the car. Four year olds are such little sponges and I think this is such a magic age. Once again, I'm so glad I'm home to experience this stage with my two younger boys.