I always love the notes that come home from school … some dog-eared from a few too many days left in the front pocket of the backpack and other folded down to ‘fairy size’. And is it just me or do notes in kindy and school bags seem to breed? Sometimes I feel like I need a full day of ‘admin’ each week just to cope with the paperwork!
One note that came home this week though was from our Kindergarten daughter. The note was typed up from the school but contained pearls of wisdom from Mem Fox on how to make reading with children joyful, entertaining and fun. It was inspirational and this week has been a wonderful time of lots of books and lots of laughs. “Ch” words are now big on our list and “Tr” is saying Hi too.
So I thought I’d share Mem’s thoughts here:
- Spend at least 10 wildly happy minutes every single day reading aloud with your child
- Read at least 3 stories a day; it may be the same story three times but children needs to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read
- Read aloud with animation. Listen to your own voice and don’t be dull, flat or boring. Hang loose and be loud, have fun and laugh a lot!
- Read with joy and enjoyment; real enjoyment for yourself and great joy for the listeners
- Read the stories that the kids love … over and over and over again and always read in the same ‘tune’ for each book. That is with the same intonations on each page, each time.
- Let children hear lots of language by talking to them constantly about the pictures, or anything else connected to the book
- Sing any old songs you can remember, say nursery rhymes in a bouncy way or be noisy together during clapping games
- Look for rhyme, rhythm or repetition in books for younger children and make sure the books are really short
- Play games with the things that you and the child can see on the page such as letting kids finish rhymes and finding the letters that start the child’s name and yours. Remember that it’s never work – it’s always a fabulous game
- Never ever ‘teach’ reading or get tense around books
- Please read aloud every day … because you just love being with your child, not because it’s the right thing to do.
Someone once told me that “the only legacy we can really leave our children is a love of learning and their education”. If we can give our children this, then they are well prepared to make choices and move toward a successful and happy future. I’ve embraced this for the longest time and we make reading a priority.
What are you going to do about re-energizing your reading this week? What tips or hints do you have for getting your kids reading? Must fly, someone little wants to read our ‘very old but well loved’ copy of Possum Magic!
Much MoM Love,
This post written by Nikki Hills, Mum of 4 and Founder of Mouths of Mums®. Nikki has worked in marketing, advertising and communications for close to 20 years and created Mouths of Mums® to give real mums a space to connect and trial and review products for free. Mouths of Mums® was also founded to give brands the opportunity to connect with real mums and truly understand what they need to do in order to deliver products that meet mums’ needs and will therefore be embraced by real mums.