There is one daily routine that our family does not give up.
My husband and I are both avid readers. We read exponentially more than we watch TV. We also read to our children. Everyday. It has become a habit.
The joy of homeschooling is that it gives us HEAPS of free reading time. Our one daily routine is that after breakfast the kids and I sit down and read together. I read to them, they read to me. The one rule is that THEY choose what to read. Not me.
Reading opens up so much for us. It stirs curiosity, starts new conversations, and sparks new ideas. It also creates a time for us to share, be close, cuddle, smile and laugh together.
This morning my son chose the book ‘Adventures of Riley Operation Orangutan‘. This is a fantastic fiction series about a boy, Riley, that joins his Scientist Uncle and Aunt on adventures to help animals and nature. It is loaded with a ton of facts on geography and animals. This book sparked a fantastic discussion on Orangutans, their habitat, other creatures in Borneo, and the area of Borneo. All because of a book.
We grabbed the map of the world and located where Borneo is and what other countries are close to it. This lead to other discussions that we have had on topics and locations like Tahiti (one of many places to visit on Ronan’s list), and what direction the characters Pi and Richard Parker from the ‘Life of Pi‘ took on their journey in the boat from India. Ronan then researched and found a documentary on the forests of Borneo and scientist’s quest to preserve the disappearing forest all the while exclaiming “I want to do this too!” All with the start of a book.
My daughter Zahra has read ‘The Little Red Hen‘ quite a few times over. The other day I asked the kids if they were interested in baking bread for the family. Zahra excitedly exclaimed yes, and proceeded to inform me that we will be using the bread recipe from the back of ‘The Little Red Hen’ book. “That”, I said, “is a great idea.” All with the start of a book.
I cannot stress the importance of reading. Having our children see us reading, practicing reading with them, but most importantly, reading out loud to them.
Even if we take just 15 minutes a day to sit down and read together. The benefits are numerous, because really, not only does it lay an important foundation in learning, but it also gives us that extra moment with them to bond and share love.