Some of you have asked me what I do during the day to establish a solid educational and play environment. I have decided that I would blog about some of these things and maybe it can help you find a balance at home whether you are a stay at home Mom or just a Mom who wants to do a more 'structured' learning time. Let your child's curiosity drive you and it will be an amazing experience for you to watch your child learn and grow and mature into a fine young lady or man.
As an early childhood educator, I cannot stress the importance of reading with your kids. From the time Raileigh was growing inside me to the second she took her first breathe in my precious arms, I have made it a priority to read to her. Reading is a bonding moment and to this day she LOVES books and I can't be more excited. I hope that she always loves books and no one ever takes that love away from her when she is 'forced' to read books she may not like.
In today's society, everyone is busy. It's true, but I hope that you find a moment everyday to read to your child. It's a great way to climb into bed each night and get in those last snuggles and read a story to your child. It's can be a very peaceful moment especially if it's a book your child wants you to read. I allow her to pick out the books we read unless it is a book that is tied into our theme of the week to incorporate various skills.
Because I have taught elementary school, I have over 1000 books (I know call hoarders!), but Raileigh still loves going to the library. Because our lives had been super busy, we hadn't been in a while. I mentioned going to the library to Raileigh and she lit up. She loves to march over to the children's books, sit down and browse and pick out her stories. She loves the feel of the book in her hands and she loves the scent. She loves the big oversized chairs and the coziness of reading a good book. She loves becoming the characters because I see them over and over in her playtime. She has an amazing imagination.
I am fortunate to get to stay home with my kiddo and make sure she gets some basic literacy before her wings are ready to fly into the world of kindergarten one day. As a former kindergarten teacher, I have watched many light bulb moments where kids begin to connect all the puzzle pieces of reading together and the light comes on. That is one of the happiest teaching moments ever!
I have decided to document some of my book talks and share with the world in hopes that more parents begin to read with their children. If you don't have time, there's always storytimemom.com If you haven't visited her, visit her. She's also on youtube! She reads one of Raileigh's favorite stories, Pete the Cat, remarkably!
My first book I am going to talk about is.
Before we even start the book, I have her show me front of book and the back of the book.
We then take a picture walk. We look at each picture and since this book is about the beginning of the season of spring where it is still cold, we look at the pictures to talk about the weather and the characters and what the characters are thinking.
I ask her where I start reading and where I will finish. Sometimes we count the words on the page. I point to the beginning of each word as I read.
Here are some questions that I ask at the end.
Why was little duck's pond stiff and white?
What did little duck's feet freeze to?
Which season was little duck thinking of?
What made the ice disappearin our story?
What sound did the ice make when it started disappearing?
What colors were the beetles in the story?
Who are the characters?
What was your favorite part?
Since this story was read during our 'school' day, we then talked about different shapes we could use to draw the duck and I modeled a duck and wrote my sentence, The duck said, "Quack, Quack, Quack." Here is a picture that one of my littles that I work with drew. I think it looks amazing!
For more activities visit Scholastic and Lisa Westberg Peter's Page.