Monday, February 28, 2011

Library Mondays

For as long as I can remember (within the past twenty months, obviously) bear has been extremely interested in books! As soon as she was able to reach out for objects on her play mat, while laying stuck on her immobile buddah belly, books seemed to have carried a much larger spark than any other toy. And to this day it continues; nine out of ten times, bear will pick a book over a toy. In fact, I think she is more into reading than anything else--Though probably not as much as she loves her turtles! But none the less, whether with turtle or without him, it is certainly her favorite pass time.

Many a mornings when I'm cleaning and bear is enjoying some alone play time, I always find her in her bedroom sitting and reading (i.e., babbling and looking at pictures). It is the sweetest sound to a mother's ear and the sweetest sight to one's eyes--to see this sweet little toddler contently sitting and looking at books--my heart just melts. It makes me feel, for right now, that we are (for sure) doing something right.

I, myself, was not into reading, when I was growing up, and I wonder at times if I missed out, especially in the grammar department...

I enjoy reading now and continue to work on re-learning my grammar and spelling; that's certainly better than no interest in it at all. But I wonder if I would have been more successful during my primary and secondary education if I had enjoyed reading as much as bear seems to. I don't think I was ever shown that reading could be fun, and rather than explore my own interests in books I withdrew from anything to do with it. I just plain as day spaced out--I can honestly remember reading out loud but not absorbing one word of it. But that's OK, I struggled in school and because of this I will be better equipped to help bear when she struggles, too.

What I think sparked bear's interest in reading was that I started to read to her very early on. I think my top two priorities when we came home from the hospital were to read to her as much as she would allow it and to follow through with tummy time, three times a day. It wasn't always easy to get tummy time in, as bear did detest it often, but reading came as simple as pie. So it took almost no effort to maintain a good reading habit. We quickly added books into our bedtime routine and we've also come accustomed to it when it's time to just hang around the house. Two words I often hear abruptly flowing from bears mouth are: "Read it!" And I usually, instantaneously, stop whatever I'm doing and read to her, unless we're in the car... And at that time I am usually wishing that bear could understand the concept of waiting...

With bear's impressive love for reading I decided, about a month ago, to take her to the free toddler reading program at our local library. The classes are held on Mondays and it instantly become an amazing way to start off our week! We sit with about 50 other parents and kiddos, sing songs, read books, and explore a specific theme pertaining to what the teacher wants to teach us on that particular day. Bear enjoys each class, she follows the teacher's directions during songs (though most of the time she'll do the song's actions on turtle, like I once did for her when she was little), and sits and listens quietly during reading time. My favorite thing to see bear do during class is help with clean up time, she will walk right up to the teacher and return whatever toy was handed out to her in class. I am very impressed with her eagerness to help out with little to no direction to do so. She is getting a lot out of this class, and if we continue to go, I know our transition to preschool (which is very far away from now) will be an easy one.

Following class we head out to pick out some new books. Bear knows this, she eagerly awaits the end of class in anticipation of this. And of course she knows right where to go once we enter the main section of the library. She pulls out books, looks over them, and pulls out some more. I generally spend my time sifting through these books, picking out good ones for us to take home and then relocating the other lingering books, bear has left behind. Bear will then head to some seats by the windows with the books she is most interested in and we'll spend a little bit of time reading separately, but together. And when we've both had enough, we check our books out and head home to read them some more.

It is an all around good feeling day. Good because I feel that I am setting bear on the right path, good because I am starting a tradition of Library Mondays, and good because bear enjoys it just as much as I do!

Happy reading!

Bear's mom

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for following me! Your blog is very cute and so is your baby! I'm your newest follower too. :)