Friday, October 19, 2007

What I'm Learning..

...about reading to older children while still keeping the toddler's interest:

  • I will need to pause after I turn each page so that she can look closely. She will most likely need to smell each flower in the picture, and kiss the characters that look cute, before we may proceed.
  • When there is an animal on the page, even if it isn't part of the actual story, she will make its' sound several times, and then persuade me do it as well. "Mama! Moo!"
  • The characters must have special voices. (Okay, the boys like this as well!) Their imaginations can soar higher with a gruff-voiced character, a regal-toned princess, or a squeaky mouse. And laughter soars as well when Mama Aaaargh's like a pirate. The toddler may not know what is going on, but it sure sounds funny!
  • She will only be happy if smooshed between me and one of the boys - it would be absolutely unacceptable to sit on the outside edge where smelling and kissing the book could prove difficult.
  • She will lose interest if there is no expression. So, if there is a storm coming, I put an "Oh, no!" in my voice. If a sad moment occurs, my words come out quiet, my tone softens. If someone is shouting, well, I shout! I can always tell I'm slipping and forgetting the expression when she tries to slide off of the couch before the story is over.
  • She will, immediately following our reading, snatch the book for herself, sit on the floor and look through it all over again. Kissing, smelling, making animal sounds... the works.
There are still quiet times where Cor is reading The Wind in the Willows on the couch, Micah is reading aloud to me from The Little Bear Treasury, and Eliana is in her own little world "reading" Hattie and the Wild Waves.

But now, when we smoosh together on the couch to read, Eliana can join us, which makes this Mama's heart so happy, and utterly delights the boys.

I pray you are blessed and a blessing this weekend, friends!

17 fellow travelers shared:

Christine said...

I have a hard time reading with Elliot- he likes to do the "speedy" version (look briefly at only 1/5 of the pages and then close the book) which wouldn't fly with the older ones!! For now we save our focused reading time for his naps!

Love this list!

Beka said...

Precious times! I can just picture you sitting on the couch with your little ones snuggled around you, enjoying a book.
That is so cute that Eliana kisses the books and smells the flowers :-)

Hope you have a blessed weekend!

Jenny said...

Yes on the expression! I have to do that with Savannah still at age 5.

I made something special for you that I have over on my blog for you to pick up.


Beverly said...

I love the way that Eliana likes to hear a book read! Selena kisses people and babies if they are in her books. :-) Right now she is running all over saying "Hop a Pop!" (hop on pop)

nanashouse said...

You read books just as I do, and my daughters after me!
It truly is the only way to keep your "audience" focused :-)

Andrea said...

Great lessons, my friend!
You, too, have a blessed weekend.

laura said...

thank you for the reminder- after a difficult morning of lessons with a dear toddler in our midst, and a newborn as well- i needed to be reminded what a treasure it is to teach our little ones.

Joy@Joy in the Journey said...

Oh yes! Even though my third, Hudson is three, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down for his sake. It came so naturally when they were all young, the voices, the extra expression, the lingering over every page. But somewhere between then and now (the olders are growing up!)I've traded perusing for story line. Thanks for the reminder to slow down for Hudson's sake...and the twins are soon to come as well!

Anonymous said...

Smelling the pages, how CUTE!!! Oh that we could devour life with the same zeal and totality of our senses! Puts a whole new spin on "stopping to smell the roses..."
Have a snuggle with them tonight and smell the pages!

tonia said...

I enjoy "watching" your relationship with Eliana. I have only one daughter and we are close like this's so dear.

Thanks for the refreshing space here in this big wide web.

Quinne said...

This is precious, Elise! I think my sweeties and I would love to visit you at storytime :)

I love to watch my sweeties going back over the books we read. Miss M trying to read the words, and little Mr S making the sounds and faces. Love to you, Q

henryteachers said...

You are such a good mama to keep her interested in the read alouds with the boys. I will have to try some of these out so my youngest can tag along more with us when we read together. They are so curious and sweet at this age, aren't they!

Wendy said...

My youngest likes the quick version of every story too.

Thanks for sharing what you've learned.

Laura said...

This sounds so much like my little Ella. Her favorite new thing to do when reading the Bible w/me is pointing out the capital letters she knows that start a chapter. It's funny b/c she'll see "H" and say, "Mama, hot!"

bluemountainmama said...

love it! i think snuggling on the couch and reading is my all-time favorite mommy and son time! as active as sir laughsalot is, he loves to snuggle up and read.

its funny b/c i'll catch myself animating my voice while reading aloud to my husband..... :)

Amy said...

Good stuff, Elise! Hope you are well! love, Amy said...

Thanks, Elise, such encouraging words...

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