I've been thinking lately and noticing that there are some fringe benefits to raising a reader. These are little things. I'm not going to talk about how reading to your kids makes them smarter, or helps them excel in school, or get a more complete education, although I do believe those things are true. No I'm thinking along a much more selfish line of thought. The 2 benefits I want to talk about are these, cuddle time and vocabulary expansion.
Cuddle time is pretty rare around our house. We all like it, but we're all movers too. The kids are busy playing, I'm busy doing... whatever it is that moms do. and so we are rarely sitting down together to just be with each other. So a benefit of reading to the kids frequently is getting to sit down with the cutest, most wonderful kids on the planet on my lap or curled up under my arm to read a book. Sometimes one will even stay once the story is done to chat about it, or just cuddle, since we're already there.
And, well, vocabulary is pretty self explanatory too, isn't it. But oh my goodness. The things that my 4 year old says astound me sometimes! I mean really how many four-year-olds are out there yelling "Bye, Mom, I'm off to the race and I'll certainly win." Or "The man of strength." How about "And then I gasped..." and then there is my favorite of "... And I careened into the car" Certainly?! Gasped?! Man of Strength?! Careened?! The only reason that I can come up with to explain this vocab is reading. That's all we do. I'm not sitting down doing formal vocabulary. No flash cards, no workbooks, just reading. Often. And good books and bad books and cheap books and quality books.
Totally worth every interruption of "my" day. Dinner can wait. She's only going to want to read with me for so long. I don't want to miss any of it!