My daughter and I are close. She is in my older middle and the the oldest of three sisters, and the younger of the oldest two. Four kids in our family means that once you read, you get to read to the younger ones in the house. So my 6 year old reads to the 3 year old. And the 10 year old, reads to the little ones. The oldest ones, sometimes get lost in my preconceived notion that they don't need books read aloud to them any more. But they do. Reading is reading. You to them. And them to you. It's all important.
We are busy with baseball, gymnastics, Girl Scouts and life, so taking even 15 minutes each night to read to EACH child can get...well draining. And let's face it, there isn't enough hours in the day sometimes.
My advice is to not forget the the older ones. If they learn a love of books, powerful stories, books that captivate them and transport them in to new places, they will forever love to read, and that is my job as their parent.
Finding the time means using every spare minute I have.
Sometimes it means doing the above and trying to do three things at once. But they read I listen. Or vice versa. Reading is reading. And any way is good.
I like to listen to my oldest daughter read to me as well. Before gymnastics, after school, I send the little ones to play together or set them up with something quiet, and have my daughter read out loud to me while I cook dinner and get laundry started. Even 15 minutes so that we can finish a chapter is enough for me to answer her questions and maybe explain a part in the book she might not get.
We have chosen to read this POWERFUL story of "I Am Malala" and she is just as interested in it as I am to read it with her. I have learned that the more powerful the story, the more she is excited to read and helps me find those precious moments in the day, so that I can listen to her. I love this time with her and know that she is becoming a better reader because of it.
I grew up walking to the library with my Mom and sister and have such find memories of books we used to read together. I don't remember a perfect or messy house, how much laundry was or wasn't piled up or what I got for Christmas when I was 6. I do remember sitting on my Mom's lap and reading The Bernstein Bears, Dr. Seuss and Shell Silverstein. Memories from my childhood that I hope to pass on to mine.
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