Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teaching kids to love books at an early age

I've always believed that an idle mind is a devil's playground. So I always make sure that I don't waste my time with anything unproductive. It's a good example I modelled for my kids that's why Sundays are spent with different activities for my boys. One of my boys' favorite activities is reading. I've started reading for them when they were still a baby and now it's funny that they can already make a book all by themselves. Teaching them how to read at an early age gives them an access to information they will need later on. Now I'm sharing tips on how I did it with my boys.

1. Read to them even when they are still a baby. Use big colored books to help them develop their sight and don't be embarassed to act out or  make funny voices when you read out loud.

2. Bring them to bookstores and let them choose their books. I remember Ichiro holding a how to play chess and a science book with a sheepish grin because I only asked him to choose one. Good thing the books were on sale.
He wrote a Thank you note for Mama on an ADARNA notepad and posted it on our mirror the next day:)
3. Bring them to story telling activities in malls, bookstores and school. I always mark on my calendar whenever there's a schedule in a nearby mall.

4. Let them meet the authors and illustrators of the books they love to read. Jiro was really fascinated when one illustrator drew a monkey for him while signing his book.

5. Attend bookfairs with the kids. Join them in the kids activities like costume or art contests. Last year we attended the 31st Manila International Book Fair at SMX. My boys were awarded "People's Choice Award" in a photo contest. The photo was used in Adarna Publishing House calendar for 2011. They got so many books from Adarna Publishing for their prize. They sported a tandem costume for "Ako si Kaliwa, Ako si Kanan". They even got a pic with the author of the book.

Brother-bonding through reading

The books they won in the photo contest.
6. And last but not the least, be a good example. Set a time for self reading. Let kids see you spending time reading. Ichiro has started to look for kid's magazines when he saw that I had tons of parenting and working mom magz in my shelf. They find it funny to see their pics in some of the issues of those magazines.

My time is already fully booked for my kids. The rest only come second in my priorities. It will always be our choice on how we are going to spend our time and who we are going to waste it with. For me, the boys will always be my choice.

How do you spend your time productively?

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