I have a bit of a confession to make: I'm not an avid reader. I read well and I enjoy reading, but leisure reading is not a priority for me. I was an avid reader, always had a novel in my bag, until I went to college. I just couldn't keep up with all my school work, employment, social life, and reading for pure enjoyment. I kept thinking I'd get back into my old habits, but life kept getting busier and busier and priorities kept changing. Reading is still fairly low on my priority list. I'm embarrassed to finally confess and admit this since I come from a large family of literary giants. But enough of all this pretending. I can still be intelligent even if I'm not "well-read". I hope!
All the experts taught me that I should read to my children, even as infants. I tried, I really did. But my busy little Isabella never liked listening to a story. Books were torn, fits thrown and all unpleasantries that I stopped trying for a season. Fortunately, seasons change. In the past several months Isabella is very interested in books, reading and writing. Overnight she finally recognized the letters of the alphabet and all of a sudden could spell every family members' name without any help at all. About a month ago we were walking by the movie theater and she excitedly exclaimed, "3-D! It says 3-D! I can read!"
I'm still working on finding a good time, every day, when we can read together. A time I can dedicate myself, when my children are fairly amiable to listening. Often while my children are confined to the table eating a meal or snack they are content to listen. Goldilocks and the Three Bears is fabulous for the mornings oatmeal is having a hard time making into the mouth.
With the amazing weather we've had lately I've packed a few books in the stroller to be enjoyed outside. I actually expected the kids to not be interested in reading when they could be running all around, but it has been quite the contrary! There have been times when kids (we don't know) have stopped playing and joined us for a bit of a story. Reading to my kids in the shade of a tree has brought me so much joy!
One of the unexpected benefits of using Before Five in a Row (B4FIAR) as a preschool curriculum is I am learning to link books and life together. It is so much more fun that way. The books become alive for me and the kids. I was inspired by Let's Explore's post on It Looked Like Spilt Milk. So we did it.
Another fun book for outside reading is Bunny's Noisy Book. After reading the book we listened and identified all the different noises we could hear. (Yes, there are a lot of noises in NYC, but we usually tune them out, so it was a fun game to become aware of all those sounds.) We often play "I spy with my little eye..." as we walk all over the city, but I think I might start playing "I hear with my little ear..." I love those quiet little moments of piqued curiosity.