I'm writing this today as a Mommy of a first and third grader but I can remember being a Mommy of a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Actually, I have forgotten a lot as I was very sleep deprived during that time and my brain cells were stolen by my little men. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
Anyway, the one thing that I do remember doing with my kids in between diapers, naps, cleaning, cooking and drinking LOADS of coffee is reading to my boys. We read every night, every day....all the time. Books were toys, books were for comfort, books were for the car, books were for the potty (I know, I know), books were for anytime. I bought new books, used books, old books, not-so-great books, classics and any books that I could get my hands on. Santa, the Easter Bunny, Grandma and Nana all brought books and we gave lots of books as presents. And the library was our friend! The librarians know my kids. They are like old friends to them. Did you know the library is FREE, too?! You know I love that!
What I am getting at is that we used books as a fun thing and even though I don't read nearly as much as I should or would like, my kids sure do. I'm not bragging (maybe I am) but my third grader reads at a 7th grade level and my first grader reads at a 5th grade level. I'm a mommy that questions the choices I have made in regards to my children and wonder daily if they will be in therapy later in life because of some of those choices. But, I actually took a deep breath yesterday after a meeting with one of my son's teachers and for just a second was proud of myself (and my boy, too!) and the gift of reading that I have given to my children. Believe me when I say that this does NOT mean that my children won't still be in therapy discussing their mother later in life!
A couple moms have asked me about my kids reading ability and what did I do to get them to this. I never used flash cards or the videos "Your Baby Can Read". I read to my children and went to the library every week to take out ALL the books they wanted or for storytime. I made books accessible to them and I made books a fun thing and a bedtime ritual and never a punishment. Now that they aren't babies being read to anymore, I help them find books that they love to read and about topics that interest them. That's it.
Ok, just wanted to share this one piece of advice to those of you with little ones or big ones. It's not too late to develop a love for reading. That's all I got. I can't advise you on anything else as my boys are still "gentlemen in training" and so not perfect! Neither am I so I guess that's where they get it from! : ) Now, back to life and mom guilt and questioning EVERYTHING else that I do with my children. Maybe I should go to therapy!
Anyway, go read!