What? It’s too early to talk New Year’s resolutions, you say? Well, just in case you’ve finished all your Christmas shopping, decorated your tree, and baked
cookies, I have found something for you to do. Grab a copy of Emma Walton Hamilton’s Raising Bookworms and consider starting a reading habit with your child in the new year.
Walton’s book provides some wonderful “how to’s” for raising children with a love for reading. She organizes the book around children’s ages and stages, from toddlers to middle school and beyond. Each chapter is chock full of tips and tricks, as well as her book list of “family favorites” for each age. She also includes a section of frequently asked questions and an introduction with arguments for why reading is important. A wonderful supplement for this book would be Vivian Kirkfield’s Show Me How!, which provides craft and cooking tie-ins for many beloved children’s books.
At our house reading has long been a part of our nightly routine. Each boy gets three books before bed. Sometimes a section of the LEGO catalog substitutes for one of the books, but as Hamilton says, you need to think broadly about what counts as reading. For my kindergartener, I read him two books, and he reads me one. Or he reads me a chapter from a chapter book. After that, he gets to stay up an extra half hour to read in his bed. This is a privilege he is pretty excited about.
We’ve always visited the library A LOT. And the boys are never surprised to come home to a stack of books from the library used book sale or a couple of Scholastic Book Order paperbacks. These are two inexpensive ways to build your library if you are just starting out.
I am sure many of you already have an established reading routine with your children. But, if you don’t, Raising Bookworms can help you start one. A big thanks to Beth Stilborn (the birthday girl) for introducing me to this wonderful book.