Developing a Culture of Reading

One of my goals in life is to raise avid readers–who actually enjoy reading. 🙂 There are literally books everywhere in our house, and we are constantly reading aloud: picture books, colorful children’s encyclopedias, cookbooks, seek and find books, biographies, short chapter books, and everything in between. I can honestly say this is one of my FAVORITE parts of our daily life right now!

One way I hope to help the boys turn to books as entertainment is to saturate the environment. There are baskets full of books everywhere and anywhere the boys spend time–in the bathroom, in the car, in the bathroom, in the living room, at the foot of their bed, in bookshelves they can reach, next to just about every armchair, and in the bathroom (ummm, boys spend a lot of time in the bathroom ;)). More and more, I’m finding the boys cozied up next to a basket of books pouring over pictures and begging to be read to. I LOVE it! I think I love the picture books as much as they do 🙂

We also take weekly trips to the local library, coming home with a tubful of books every time, which helps keeps our reading fresh without breaking the bank. It’s one of the routines in the week that the boys look forward to most: library followed by popsicles and reading in the backyard. (side note: you can sign up for a great monthly book recommendation list from the Read Aloud Revival blog, which I highly recommend. You can check out one of her lists here.)

We also start our school days with an hour of reading aloud, using whatever books they bring me, plus some that I select.

I have to mention, my little one has been more of my reluctant reader, but with some concerted effort on mama’s part, he’s becoming as enamored with books as his older brother. Mainly, I try to pick out books about topics he’s interested in (tractors, machines, dirt, animals, tools, sharks, etc.) and I stop and ask him lots of questions while we read to keep him engaged and interested. “What’s your favorite animal on this page?” “What do you think is going to happen?” “Do you think he feels scared?” “Can you find the raccoon hidden in the corner of this page?”  I also use really ridiculous over the top voices, which CRACKS him up. He’s still a work in progress, but I’ve seen such a transformation in his attention span, and now, a genuine love of books is blossoming.

I’m having way too much fun!

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