Today is International Literacy Day. With our kiddos happily in back-to-school mode, we wanted to spend some time talking about reading. We all recognize how important it is to read to our children, but how many of us stop doing this when our kids become independent readers? In our family, we avoid screen time during the week. Family story time is often a great lead-in to our bed time rituals. We’re only two days into the school week and we can already see the value of family story time for all of our kids.
Our children span the ages of four to thirteen, so it can be a real challenge to find a story that works for everyone. What’s important though is quiet time together as a family. We let the kids squish modeling clay or beeswax between their fingers to release tension and help retain focus. They may draw or play quietly as they listen. In the colder months, we gather around the fire in our living room and cozy up with warm drinks. This is an after-dinner ritual, once the kitchen has been tidied and homework has been completed. Even with our littlest one, this time together has a calming affect. It helps us all feel connected to one another, and listening to a story taps into a part of our imagination that we all need access to.
Right now we’re reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Anything by Roald Dahl is a hit in our household. Our kids love his sense of humor and his somewhat sinister portrayal of the world of adults. In fact, any story in which the young protagonist can become a hero and rise about their circumstances seems to resonate with all three of our little people. I think we’ll next tackle the Harry Potter series, and I can hardly wait.
If you’re stuck on book titles, here are some great books to read with your kids:
We use the wonderful site Common Sense Media to read reviews about books. This helps determine appropriate age levels, and any subject matter that we might need to talk about as a family. The site also rates overall reader enjoyment. You can use this great site (and the app that goes with it) for films, games and apps too.
Yesterday the world received the news that Anna Dewdney, the author of the popular series of Llama Llama books, died at the young age of 50. One of her final wishes was that to honor her passing, parents and caretakers everywhere spend time reading to a child.
How does your family share a love of books? Do you feel the tug of your local library when the school year starts again?