Monday, September 21, 2009

Delicious, Delightful Read Alouds

Occasionally, I still long for the days when our son, Charlie, was small. He'd come from preschool, snuggle close beside me and we'd dive into a book. Now I get my "little kid fix" from preschoolers in centers where I consult and train teachers and families.

What made those times long ago so special? It is the fact that the reading experience was bigger than the book. It's no different today. There is a danger that, with all the focus on reading skills in school (which is important but not the whole picture), we as parents may forget to tap into the pure joy, suspense, delight and fun of reading aloud with our children.

When you do that, not only is it a relationship-building experience with your child, but it is a guaranteed stress reliever for you (and who doesn't need that in today's face-paced world). It's more positive than forcing your child to practice with the focus on correcting and directing. Besides, the message behind picture books can be meaningful to you, not just your child.

So remind yourself that these sweet days are passing, kick off your shoes, snuggle close, and dive into a book together. Here are a few of my favorites.

I have to squeeze in this tidbit: keep your eyes open for Jane Yolen's latest book due out in October, How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?.

For more tips on making reading with your child an incredible experience every time, visit The Diva Toolbox. For an extra dose of practice advice, a conversation between two passionate professionals and moms, tune in to Stacey Kannenberg's "Ready to Learn Mom" show at

11AM EST on 9/23

Cathy and host, Stacey Kannenberg, will be discussing

Parents in the Literacy Loop: Why Families Are The Key To Children's Reading Abilities and Success.

If you can't tune in live tomorrow, there will be a podcast available after the fact that the same website. Be sure to listen!

Last gift today for you . . . take one idea you learn from this blog and share it with one other person (your spouse, your neighbor, the person you want to get to know in your child's class or play group, Grandma or Grandpa). It could start a revolution!

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