Nurturing Book Lovers in Your Home

Aug 12, 2016 | Posted by Gail

Few things in life bring as much delight for a child as a trip to the library. What’s not to love? Kids, who are natural-born book lovers, are drawn like magnets to the children’s section of a library. From pint-sized furniture to animal prints, pirate ships, and reading nooks with secret passages, a library provides a place of wonder and discovery for young imaginations.

Book LoversMy children were raised with a library card in their hands. Books are a big part of their childhood memories. Fast forward to last week when both of my daughters, now twenty-five and nineteen, had nanny jobs for the summer. When they learned that they would be babysitting on the same day, they planned a play date to introduce the families. You can guess from this photo where they met!

The four- and five-year-olds hit the door running as they made their way to the children’s section. Following close behind, the older kids caught up. Although none of them had met before, they forged a friendship that day—a friendship around books.

Why Read to Kids?

So why do kids love being read to so much? Fondly they remember the comfy chair, the fluffy blanket, their stuffed animals, and snuggles on your lap. They remember your voice and the hundreds of times you read the same book to them. Children crave the familiarity of a beloved story and delight in asking you to “read it again.” They love being drawn into the suspense of a story. It's a feast for the senses in every way.

Besides the opportunity to spend quality time making memories with your kids, reading aloud to them provides a tremendous cognitive benefit. Andrew Pudewa teaches that a child needs one thing above all else in order to become an effective communicator:

“a large database in his brain of reliably correct and sophisticated language patterns.”

The best way to achieve this database is for children to be read to in huge quantities. For Andrew's complete thoughts on effective communication, check out these helpful talks:

Where Do I Begin?

It's natural to lean toward your own childhood favorites, so start there. No one knows your children as well as you do, so let them pick. (But be sure to preview their finds.)

In podcast #45 of the Read-Aloud Revival by Sarah Mackenzie, she and her team discuss their favorite picture books. You may be surprised to learn that picture books aren't just for little kids!

When your kids are older, you may feel the need for more direction with your book choices. Here are two guides that you may like to consider:

The Take-Away

Your children will come back to what they know best. My girls proved that to me this summer when they chose to make a play date at the library. They are passing on a love for books to their young friends.

Your children will never forget the time you spend reading with them. So take a trip to the library, and check out some great books. Make time to read to them now, and they'll naturally become book lovers for life.

Gail Ledbetter earned a B.S. in Bible and Elementary Education from Columbia International University. After teaching for many years in Gwinnett County, GA, she entered the most challenging classroom of all, where her heart remains captivated with her four children. Gail taught writing and literary analysis for many years in her home, in local co-op classes, and online. She now serves IEW as a Certified online instructor, author, and exhibitor.

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