Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mags said: Raising a reader.

When Robbie was about 2 years old I was asked by an acquaintance how we got Robbie to love books so much.  I really didn't know what to say other then we always had books around.

When I was pregnant I would read to the bump.  When I found books on sale I would buy them.  By the time Robbie was born he had a small collection of books.  When Robbie was about 3 months old my mother-in-law gave us two big boxes of Sean's old books.  I read daily to Robbie since the day he came home from the hospital.

When he was about 4 months old I took Robbie to a program called "Books for Babies".   Through the four week program and books that I read I learned the most important thing to do to raise a reader was to have books around.  We had tons of books around!  The book shelf in Robbie's room was full of books and then there were about 3 tall book shelves with mostly my books.  The other information I learned was to let kids see you read.  No problem there!  I am a huge reader, I would rather read then watch tv and Robbie certainly sees me read.

Our local library has a program for babies to get a free board book with their first library card.  In his first year we went to the library a lot, mostly so I could get out of the house.  I would sit in the comfy chairs in the library and feed Robbie while flipping through magazines.  We took out a few books but I was never comfortable with sharing board books with strangers.

We started a bed time routine with reading at least one story, now we read for 30 minutes (most nights) with Robbie doing some of the reading.

We read a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction.  Robbie likes all books and reading the non-fiction stuff I get to learn a lot of things.  Yes, there are times that we have read the same book over and over and over again.  However, this has lead to Robbie recognizing words.  Robbie started reading just after he turned 4 (I read before my 4th birthday).  In kindergarten, Robbie was the only child reading until way after Christmas.  Right now it is estimated that he reads at a grade 3-4 level!  Not bad for a 6 year old.

So, how do you raise a reader?  I don't know but we did something right!

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