For The Love Of Children’s Books
Ever since the birth of my son six years ago, I have become obsessed and fascinated with children’s literature and the vast research around the importance of early literacy. Sadly, working in a middle school has opened my eyes to notice how ‘uncool’ so many of our boys think reading is. This fuels my mission to make reading a norm; not only within our family but to also encourage all children, especially Black and Brown boys to fall in love with reading. Reading is far more important than just learning words. Our boys should be able to get lost in whatever story they are into. The idea is to allow children to explore any and everything until they find something that captures their attention. I started reading to my son when he was in the womb. I was intentional about the types of books I exposed him to and as he started developing a sense of self, I allowed him to pick and choose what he wanted to read. I set a standard but gave him free range within. Reading should never be forced. No matter the age children appreciate autonomy. Simply put, not reading is not an option, but it doesn’t have to become an obligation.
Here are some tips to help spark that reading flame or to keep it going!
- Don’t suck the fun out of reading! We want our boys to WANT to read, we don’t want them to feel like reading is a chore – like they have to pick up their toys or do their homework.
- Let it be their choice! Readers gonna read! Let’s face it, we like what we like and little humans know what they like, too. Our boys will be more inclined to read if they have the freedom to read what they’re interested in.
- Get comfortable! Allow your child to read outside on a sunny day, find a fun spot to read like sitting up in a tree, or even snuggle up in the coziest spot in the house!
- Always have a book on deck! Keep one in the car, even store one in your purse mamas! Also, keep books around the house in the most frequented family areas.
- Lead by example! We can’t possibly talk the talk without walking the walk, or in this case, reading the book. As adults, we should lead by example. Our children look up to us as their first teachers, and first heroes! So, it’s only natural that we make reading cool!
#Me3project Discussion Starters:
Next time you share a book with a child try some of these activities to leave a lasting impression.
- Painting – The Dot: By Peter H. Reynolds
- Creating scenes and characters with play dough – The Very Hungry Caterpillar: By Eric Carle
- Baking – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: By Laura Numeroff
- Exploring outdoors – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: By Michel Rosen
Tyeshia Weir is a native of Springfield, MA. She matriculated at Hampton University for her undergraduate degree and received her Master’s degree from Springfield College. Firmly believing that children are capable of more than they can possibly imagine, her mission through her professional career is to empower and inspire all students. Tyeshia is actively involved in her community and committed to the work around the importance of early literacy and grade level reading in her role as a Middle School Counselor. “To assist a child, we must provide them with an environment which will enable them to develop freely”- Maria Montessor