Monday, October 1, 2012

Talking Books with Kids!

My niece came to visit at the end of last week and we had a lovely time.  Miss 5 (she's 5th in order of the kids, but she is 6 years old) was very excited about her very first sleepover at her Aunty's house.  I was very excited about it too.  I love having the boys over, but they are not so keen to make jewellery that is sparkly and watch animated princess films.  LOL.  I will go into more detail about the fun we had, later. 

After a day of good old fashioned girl fun, Miss 5 sat down to dinner and I collected a number of picture books from my shelf for us to share before bed.  Her eyes lit up when I placed the books on the table.  "You can choose one to read before bed," I said, "then, tomorrow we can read the others."  Miss 5 was still eating her dinner, so spoon in mouth; she began to look at the books.  She read the titles and looked at some of the pages.  If she didn't know a word she; sounded it out, looked closely at the pictures and if she still couldn't work it out, she asked me.  I was impressed.  Miss 5 has got her some strategies!

She pointed to one book and said, "I have read that one before, I have it at home. But it has a different cover and a different title." 
I frowned for a moment as I tried to understand what she meant.  "This is the same," she said, pointing at the author's name.
"Oh," I replied, "You mean you have read a book by the same author?"
"Yeah," she smiled at me.

Next thing I knew we were looking at the books again and sorting them according to author.  We were counting how many books were written by each author.  We were counting how many books altogether.  We were talking about the plots/ themes of each book.  It turned out, that the books I had selected included only two authors, Mem Fox and Jackie French.  Miss 5 chose a book called Time For Bed by Mem Fox, "because it is night time and I'm going to bed too."  (So CUTE!)  And all this conversation was led entirely by Miss 5, not me. 

Time For Bed written by Mem Fox 

Even better than picture books and reading them to others, is sharing the reading with a confident 6 year old reader.  Miss 5 read a page and I read a page.  That was the only way I was going to get a chance to read!  She was so keen.  She read almost flawlessly.  I was so proud.  We both made a few mistakes and giggled at how silly the "wrong" words sounded.  We snuggled on the bed and she turned the pages and I pointed to the words that were tricky and we talked about what the "unknown words" meant.  It was wonderful.  When we finished the book, we said good night and I tip toed to the living room.  The BFF got to see my delight as I flopped on the couch.  "Did you hear her reading?"  I grinned. The BFF matched my smile as she nodded. 

It doesn't have to be planned or painful, but it can be perfect.  Just grab some books and relax with your kid.  Don't make it a chore, just go with the flow. 

 Next Monday: NYR12 themes

Have Fun Reading, because you can!  

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