Homeschool moms have their hands full! The good news is it is easy to introduce your littlest ones, your toddlers and preschoolers to literacy concepts in just minutes and moments a day by conversing and observing with them.
When my son was a baby, I visited the library for myself mainly. On one particular day, when he was about six months old, I handed him a baby board book to hold as he sat in the stroller so he had something to hold while I searched for my book of choice. Imagine my surprise when an older lady commented, “Don’t you think he’s a bit too young?”
I’ve thought about that many times in the past 9 years. No, ma’am, I don’t think my son was too young for a book! Was he maybe too young to treat it with gentle reverence? Probably. But babies are never to young for books.
I’ve been thinking about the various “stages” of reading with children, especially reading with my babies. I started reading with my babies from their infancy, and my third child is still just 13 months old. My thoughts on baby reading stages are based on my personal observations of three different babies in a house that is full of book-lovers. It’s not scientific. Still, it’s a reminder that it is never to young to start reading with a baby!
One of my favorite blogs, Simple Homeschool, has been running a Day in the Life of… series. I decided it was time I highlighted a day in my homeschool! Today was not a “normal” homeschool day since we had our co-op’s Valentine’s Day bowling party.
But I’m starting to realize that no day is ever “normal” when I am homeschooling a first grader and a toddler!
When my son (Raisin) was 2, I began a personal project or challenge to read 1000 different books with him before he entered kindergarten. (At that point, I had no intention of homeschooling.) Together, we did it.
There were so many benefits of our marathon reading times together. We got in the habit of choosing unknown books from the library shelves. Raisin loved recognizing previous favorites. He loved our cuddle times on the couch when we’d sit and read the piles of books we got from the library. He loved sitting and “reading” books by himself. We were always surrounded by books. He was exposed to all different kinds of facts and imaginary worlds. It was delightful and mind-expanding..
By the time we finished reading his 1000 books, Raisin had learned to read. I am certain that the daily habits we created contributed to his learning. But beyond that benefit, I feel reading 1000 different books together gave him a love of learning that will last his entire life.
Next month, my daughter Strawberry will turn two. Although I’ve certainly been reading to her all the time already, I plan begin keeping a list once again. I have no doubt it will once again be a great experience!