Robin reads

As I mentioned last week, no two kids are the same and usually their upbringing differs slightly too, depending on whether they’re first-born or not. I’m not proud to admit that, when it came to Robin, I got lazy with something as important as fostering a love for books and reading. It’s ironic when you think that writing and reading are my life, they’re who I am and who I’ve always been. Not to mention the years I spent selling books!

I started reading to Maia when she was two weeks old. I would read The Very Lonely Firefly and The Very Quiet Cricket to her as she lay in her moses basket as my parents stared at me in disbelief, suggesting thatΒ maybe I was taking my love for books a little too far. Still, I insisted that Maia would benefit from my reading to her and from looking at the colourful pictures in those books (I made sure to hold them close to her face during those first few weeks). And benefit she did. She still loves books and reading and she never tore or bent a book.

Her lively little sister was not as lucky. I didn’t read to her (ever) until she was about six or seven months old and then it was very sporadic. I’d grab a book and read it to her while waiting for lunch to cook or after she woke up from her nap. I wasn’t consistent and I felt guilty (what’s new?). Then, during a recent follow-up visit, her paediatrician suggested that reading to her everyday might encourage her to repeat words and help her expand her vocabulary. Well, duh! Obviously her speech development would benefit from reading more! So why hadn’t I thought of it? Why on earth did it take me so long to incorporate reading into her daily routine?!

So we started reading some of her favourite books before naps and before bedtime in the evening. And wouldn’t you know! She has since added quite a few words to her vocabulary, all learned from reading those very books. I read to her as we snuggle in their bedroom, just the two of us and I love the few minutes I can dedicate to her without any interruptions or distractions. It’s our bonding time too.

Here are the books she is loving right now:

Goodnight Moon, a classic which Maia used to love too. She learned how to say 'moon', 'mouse', 'house', 'hush' and 'mush' thanks to it.
Goodnight Moon, a classic which Maia used to love too. She learned how to say ‘moon’, ‘mouse’, ‘house’, ‘hush’ and ‘mush’ thanks to it.
Smile Baby Smile, a gift from her cousin. She giggles every time we reach the page where the baby burps. :-)
Smile Baby Smile, a gift from her cousin. She giggles every time we reach the page where the baby burps. πŸ™‚
Dear Zoo, another classic which I always recommend to friends with babies. The flaps in ours are mostly tattered but she still loves uncovering all the animals.
Dear Zoo, another classic which I always recommend to friends with babies. The flaps in ours are mostly tattered but she still loves uncovering all the animals.

 

 

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7 Comments

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  1. That’s a great idea! I’m sure Robin will continue to pick up words and impress you πŸ™‚

    As an avid reader myself, one of my greatest fears is that my son won’t love books as much as I do. So I have been making a huge effort to teach him how to love books, and expose him to as many books as possible. He’s mostly into the Julia Donaldson books like the Gruffalo, and I think that the rhyming words in any book help keep the child attentive for longer, making it sound more attractive.

    I was also totally affected by what my mother always said. Apparently she never read as much to my younger brother as much as she did to me, and she insists that its the reason why he doesn’t care about books as much as I do (although, I’m at the extreme end of the bookworm spectrum). This may seem to be irrational reasoning but it has somehow stuck in my mind.

    Ultimately, I feel that it has been books that helped me pick up a very good standard of written and spoken English and I want to pass this passion and all its benefits on to my son. Whether he reacts to it or not is another matter!

    • I don’t think it’s irrational at all, Hannah! I wasn’t read to as a child (my mum has many talents but she sadly never received an education and my dad was a teacher who kept teaching to his working hours) but I somehow always found comfort in reading and writing. Having said that, exposure to books from a young age is definitely a bonus. I think it’s a mixture of personality and nurturing a love of books. PS – Maia was a huge fan of Donaldson too!

  2. we don’t know smile baby smile, but the other two are some of our favorites. πŸ™‚ one thing i love having older kids now is part of ‘school’ (aka life ;)) is arianna reading aloud to the others… it is soooo sweet. πŸ™‚

    • That’s something I look forward to too, Lauren, but Robin doesn’t listen to Maia when she reads to her. For her Maia = jumping on sofas and throwing balls at the wall! I look forward to the day they’ll read to each other.

  3. Abby and I LOVED good night moon. Our other favorite from that time period was Caps for Sale. Both were really fun to read. Now we are onto long books for older kids. They are too long for her to read herself but she can follow the story and loves hearing the big kid books. That’s great that Robin is learning so many words!

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