September 1, 2010

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." Emilie Buckwald

I truly believe that books are among the greatest gifts we can give our children.  Reading to a child is one of the best ways to enjoy spending quality time while educating them all at once.  As a stay-at-home mom, I am responsible for the early education of my boys.  However, I don't believe in forcing learning at such a young age with flash cards and curriculum.  After all, these pre-school years don't last long, and when your children do start school, they are there for good until they begin a career!  There is so little time to just have fun and be carefree and I certainly want to make the most out of these few years we do have.

Of course, education is important and critical to do well in school and in a future career, but there are ways of educating our children without them feeling like they are being drilled in a classroom.  Reading is a perfect example!  You don't know how much Austin has learned just from Ryan and I reading to him every day.  He learned to play peek-a-boo from reading Pat the Bunny, he learned about different animals and their sounds from his Touch and Feel Animal books, he's learned his numbers and ABC's from reading, he's learned Itsy Bitsy Spider and other fun songs from his rhyming books, he's learned about matching objects from his Seek & Find books, colors from his rainbow book and recognition of every day items from his many word books.

The best part of all this reading is that it makes learning fun and easy!  Austin has always had a love for books, which I attribute to the fact we have read to him since birth, and when we read together he gets so involved.  He doesn't think that reading is boring or a chore or that he's being tutored.  He thinks that it's fun to point out the letters and say their names and that it's fun to recognize animals and make their sounds.  Reading has helped him learn so much as well as improving his coordination, rhythm, speech and vocabulary!

So, how do you teach your child to enjoy reading?  Well, the first step is you have to have a lot of fun and entertaining books!  And to find some really wonderful books to either start your collection or expand your current one, you should seriously consider heading over to my friend Dana's new blog, Barefoot Mom.

I met Dana a few years ago when we were working together in Columbia.  She is now expecting her first child, a little girl, and has decided, in addition to being a stay-at-home mom, to start Barefoot Mom as a tool to promote reading and sell some amazing books!

Hurry over today for her Grand Opening Sale Extravaganza and receive 40% off an order of $50 or more AND free shipping!! There's a great selection of books to choose from, you won't be disappointed!

Of course, buying great books is just the start to a lifetime of learning through reading.  The next step is to sit down with your child for just 20 minutes a day and read to them.  You'll be amazed at what they'll learn when you open a book.  Go ahead, I dare ya!  :-)

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