Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mime Reader

My love affair with books started at a young age. My mom gave me her old and tattered volumes of Trixie Belden. I read them all and thirsted for more. I want my children to love books. I try to do the right things now so they will gravitate towards books later. The Reading is Fundamental website has these 10 reading tips for parents of young children.

1. Read aloud to your child every day
2. Create a print rich home environment
3. Model reading and writing
4. Use grocery shopping to encourage reading
5. Cook with your child to develop literacy
6. Explore books together
7. Tell stories together
8. Sing and rhyme with your child
9. Write with your child
10. Visit the library often

Jeff and I do many of the things on this list. We read to the girls at bedtime, we sing and recite nursery rhymes. Jeff takes the girls to the library for story time at least once a week and we have several book cases in our house filled with reading material.

If there were to be an eleventh item on this list it would probably be, "Limit your child's TV time to 30 minutes a day." I'm sure there are parents who manage to do this. I am not one of them.

My daughters ask me to sit with them when they watch TV. I think Noggin provides wonderful programming for preschoolers. I am not a preschooler, so I keep a book handy. When they slip into their TV coma I slowly open my book. I hope that they will not notice me and interrupt my reading.

Bad Mommy! Selfish Mommy! Using TV as a babysitter, you should be ashamed!

But wait! My actions are beneficial to the literacy of my children. The above list says reading in front of my children is good, and now I have a picture to prove it.

Yes, Ariel has a very thick hardbound book on her lap.

Yes, she selected this book herself.

Yes, she is actually in a TV coma.

Yes, occasionally she turns the page without looking away from the TV.

Yes, I am trying not to giggle, because she is "reading" this:
But that’s okay, because I am setting the groundwork. I am helping my daughter realize that reading is a hobby, it is fun and infinitely more interesting than TV. Someday Ariel may grab an age appropriate book and we can read side by side, exploring the wonder of the written word.

That is my dream.

See more Tell Me Thursday participants here.
The picture of Ariel and I was originally posted yesterday for Wordless Wednesday.


TheVasquez3 said...

oh this is goooood! i love the TV funny!

i think your kids will eventually SEE you reading and once they are readers themselves they will join you when you are curled up with a good book...

it has happened to me just recently. she said nothing, she grabbed a blankey and a book and sat next to me on the couch and we read, for HOURS!! she is 12 and finally she loves reading as much as i do...SO cool!!

Wahmmy said...

Great picture and story. Reading is something I too love to do and it's not uncommon for me to read a book in front of my kids. My oldest (10)also loves to read (although not as much now as he used to, but the foundation is there) and my 2yo will grab a book and sit down and pretend to read quite a bit as well.

Victoria said...

LOVED this! What a super photo as well. I too am quilty of reading while the kids watch a TV program or movie. Eek.

Annette said...

Great story! Thanks so much for participating in Tell Me Thursday!

Kellan said...

That is the cutest picture and now I love it even more that I have this wonderful story to go with it! Very funny and GREAT post Amy! Have a good day - Kellan

Lisa said...

Reading is my passion too. Before I became Mommy Extraordinaire I was a Reading Teacher Goddess...and there is nothing like teaching kids to love books. When she's seeing you read, even while you're "watching" Noggin together, she's learning how you value books!
I love the book she's reading - classic, I tell ya!

BTW - I'm Lisa. I found you through some blog browsing! Fun blog!

carrie said...

that's fab. I've noticed without the lure of any tv (hardly anything comes in with the rabbit ears), that even my oldest who never wanted to read, is now reading.

I knew it would "take" one day. Of course, he'd still rather watch tv. He's a 10 year old boy after all.

Melody said...

There are some great ideas in this post!

Thanks for your comment on my Friday Fight the Frump post. In case you're interested, I FINALLY posted my before and after pictures. Come check them out if you want!

Thanks and have a great day!
Melody @ Eternal Sunshine of an Empty Mind

pb&j in a bowl said...

The love of reading is the best gift you could possibly give your children. Have you heard of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program? Most states have it. Kids recieve a book a month from birth to 5 years, at no charge. It's incredible.

I love the picture. Maddie does the same thing. gets caught up in the tv and ignores everything else.

Maria said...

You sure are setting a good example, that you find books more interesting that TV! BTW, what book are you reading? What do you generally like to read? I'm reading The Appeal.

Don Mills Diva said...

It is my dream too - I love books more than anything and I LOVED Trixie Belden!

Gray Matters said...

Great post. Do you think reading from your laptop screen in front of your children counts . . .

OHmommy said...

Awww... so that is the story behind the picture.

Great post!

We do all the things on the list and I too am passionate about reading, writing, and learning.

What you do is wonderful, obviously she is watching and absorbing! It is great!!!

E said...

And as they get older you can do family read alouds. We read all of the Peter and the Starcatchers series this way. It helps to choose books that the parents can get swept into as well. These three prequels are wonderful adventures for older kids, boys especially, about how Peter Pan came to be. Co-authored by Dave Barry they have enough of his trademark humor to keep the grown ups happy too...
Nice post

Honeybell said...

I am so hopeful my kids will become readers! My 12 year old is well on his way, and I continue to read to the little guys. My favorites as a kid: The Secret Garden, Bridge to Terebinthia, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and anything by Madeline L'Engle!

Kyle said...

For me reading is almost a compulsion, so when I'm in the middle of a good book, I'm guilty of such things as giving my kiddo the junk mail to tear apart, the vacuum attachments to play with,turning on the television, and of course, tyring to get him to sit down to read as well. He's going through a phase now where each book has to be read over and over again, so now I can recite Guess How Much I Love You and Are you my Mother upon request.

Sister Sassy said...

That is too funny! I love that she turns the page every now and then too!

kidzmama said...

Reading is one thing you just can't start too early with kids. My husband is a huge reader, I however am not. I'm sure my parents tried their best. I am happy to say that our oldest reads at least seven books a week! When the little ones are watching their show she's laying on the couch with a book. It's a great habit!

Kelly said...

You rock, and your post made me giggle so hard I had to kegel to avoid an accident. That is why I love ya!

Jane the Sane said...

First of all...I puffy heart Trixie Belden :)

Second I think it is so great that you read to your daughter. I started reading to the little princess as soon as we brought her home from the hospital. She's a lot more into now though she likes chewing on books more than reading them at the moment.

Amanda said...

That's awesome that your daughter is reading that book. :) I'm so glad you left me a comment! I had to call my sister right away and have her go to your blog! Your family is beautiful.

chele said...

Hehe... nice book she selected! Maybe she'll be the new Dr. Ruth for her generation? ;-)

Amy said...

This is wonderful, what you are doing for your girls! We have a bunch of readers in this house and I want to believe it is because I have set a good example with my love of reading. But yeah, the 30 minute TV thing, not so much. I mean I think Dora has made my three year old a freakin' genius!

Lisa said...

Great ideas!! We only have one TV (a crappy one at that) and this helps cut on TV.
I just love the purpose of your blog! Much better than 'I just want to get out some frustration!'
Very cute picture too!

Candi said...

I have always felt the same way about reading and I have to tell you it fills my heart that my 12 year old son loves reading. The rate reading levels in school and the kids can't read any books more than 1 point above their level. he is allowed to read high school level books in 6th grade. He has read all the Harry Potters, where as his friends say they would never read a book that big. Okay, done bragging now!

I definitely think your habits will be picked up my your girls!

Have a great weekend!