‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.’ – St. Augustine
I didn’t introduce T to the world of books early but when I did, we more than made up for whatever lost time. I added her brother into that world last year.
Fortunately both children love books, reading, writing and all that jazz. Every opportunity to indulge in these activities means quiet and peace in my world, and I’m their biggest cheerleader.
‘No entertainment is so cheap as reading nor any pleasure so lasting.’ – Lady M.W. Montagu
I must mention here that T loves, loves books ( a tad more than her brother) and takes every chance she gets to attempt to read and sound out familiar and new words, and sentences. It is only natural that one of her favourite moments is bedtime reading. She chooses the book, the story and reads what she can, displaying her reading prowess, learning new words and testing her memory. She also points out corresponding photos and asks questions when something is unclear.
Before now, I’d read the story for her brother and her while they both listened attentively. Not anymore. In the last year, they have both grown and insist on being fully involved in this nighttime activity. This means two books, three voices, extended bedtime reading period, and a lifetime of benefits for both of them.
Since starting school and recognizing the alphabets, Chairman literarily hijacks his bedtime book and reads it himself, complete with gestures and animal sounds. T is no different. Her reading confidence and repertoire of words have both increased proportionally to her height and, mummy is only remembered at word roadblocks.
Books, like humans, entertain us, comfort us, challenge us and inspire us.They are also fantastic!
Not only do they contain rich and varied language that fires the imagination but the children are required to work their memory to follow the plot … and take them to other exotic places.
Bedtime reading also means:
I get to spend time bonding with them.
They develop stronger reading skills.
New perspectives; teaching them to analyze and reflect on the text (Only T for now though)
A head start on the future because if they hear good writing often enough, it develops their ear. They can’t help but replicate it in schoolwork. And, hopefully, I won’t have to deal with ‘bad’ English language, spoken or written.
But bedtime reading (or any time reading) to a child is not always easy. After a long and tiring day, all I want to do is lay down and sleep.
Two things stop me. Firstly, all the advantages of the activity and secondly, this statement:
‘If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book.’
I don’t want anything hidden from my children.
So I grin and bear it, and sometimes end up enjoying it.