Reading has always been a super high priority with me when it comes to being a mom. Our rule from the time Caroline was old enough to attend to a book (six or seven months?) was to always read to her when she asked. Even if it was inconvenient at the moment. Yes, reading to her was that important. We rarely turned her away or put her off if she brought a book to us.
This Babycenter article about How to raise a reader is really super (minus the part about the Teletubbies). LOL! No, seriously, it has excellent information. Any new moms who are feeling anxious about their child’s development should read this and take it to heart. Infants, toddlers and preschoolers don’t need tons of fancy toys. Reading to them and giving them a print and verbal rich environment is the most important thing.
Caroline was watching a video of herself today from when she was two and a half. I knew she was a verbal two year old, but now I really marvel at her vocabulary. I mean I knew it at the time, but now I see it in a whole new way. The two keys? We read to her all the time and we talked about anything and everything all the time. We used a wide adult vocabulary, expanded on what she said when she talked to us, and just generally spoke to her on a high level.
Reading ability is one of the biggest predictors of school success. The biggest gift you can give to your child is a love of books and print in general. A large vocabulary will serve your child well, too. Spend lots of time at the library and read, read, read and talk, talk, talk!
Photo is Caroline enjoying books at fifteen months. She had a huge basket of books next to her bear chair.