Do you think back to your childhood with fond memories of your favorite books? I certainly do. My mom tells me that when I was very young I could not get enough of Green Eggs and Ham. I was saying all the words along with her as she read, even before I could read. In my pre-teen years, I saved what little allowance or gift type of money that I received to subscribe to a book delivery service. This was long before e-books were a thing. I was so anxious to receive my book club books each month! The Sweet Valley High series was a favorite back then.
More than anything though, some of my best childhood memories are of reading to my younger brothers. When they were very small, I read Dr. Seuss books to them. Another favorite was The Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree. I would read with great suspense in my voice as I asked, “Do we dare go up those spooky old stairs?” They would giggle and shout back, “Yes, we dare!" As they got a little older (elementary school age to my junior high school age) I read several ‘Choose your own Adventure’ series to them. They would each sit on either side of me as I read the story. When we got to a decision page, they had to talk it out and reach a decision together. It was so cute watching a little six year old and nine year old justify their reasons to each other for why we just had to do the action that they were choosing.
As a big sister, even though they are now grown men in their 30s, they will always be the little six and nine year old boys to me. So eager to hear what happens next in the story. Where would our childhood memories have gone without books? I can’t imagine if I had to think back fondly to those great times when I stared at the back of their heads as they watched TV or played video games. What!? No. As a soon to be new mom, I can’t wait to start reading to my baby boy like my mom read to me.
I’m writing this today as a reminder to parents and teachers. Parents, books can take your child’s imagination to magical places. Journey with them there and make memories that you both will cherish for the rest of your lives. Teachers, encourage parents to read at home with their children. Feel free to distribute the free read at home flyer that I made. Trust me, you want your students to read at home. Their fluency and comprehension skills will go through the roof. I was a reading teacher’s dream. (Thanks mom!)
As I mentioned, the flyer is free. It is available in my TPT store. You do need to be a member to download it but no worries. If you need to sign up that is easy and free too.
You can also find several more tips in The Literary Maven's, Page Turners: "Fostering a Love of Reading" blog post.