Thursday, 17 September 2020

Reading to the children

As a baby, Mia was never interested in books, so it was lovely when she let me start reading to her. We started with picture books then moved on to chapter books. We started with some classic Enid Blytons then went onto some of my favourite books from childhood - Charlotte Sometimes and Tom's Midnight Garden. We are currently nearing the end of the Snow Spider Trilogy, after watching the BBC adaptation earlier this year.

I used to read to Harry too when he was younger, but he was a much keener reader and quickly moved onto choosing and reading longer chapter books to himself. So I got out of the habit of reading to him and instead settled him into bed with a book of his own before reading to Mia.

Recently I was filling out an online survey and I was asked questions about reading to my children. Harry was in the same room and I mentioned the question to him, and something about the way he reacted to me talking about reading to Mia made me stop. I asked him, "would you like me to read to you too?" and he went all quiet, then admitted that actually he would like me to still read to him. I was a bit taken aback, and felt bad that I'd stopped!

Child reading on a bed from above
Photo credit - Annie Spratt via Unsplash

So I decided to take the opportunity to introduce him to a book that he wouldn't have the confidence to pick up himself. He's a comfort reader and likes to re-read books that he's enjoyed over and over, and he picks his new books from similar genres. So I found a copy of Treasure Island that he had on his shelf. I chose it because I reasoned that as a children's book I'm confident that it's going to be suitable, but the setting and language is quite different to his usual books.

Fortunately he's really enjoying the story, and I can also tell that he's enjoying me reading to him. So even though it takes me a bit of extra time each evening to put them to bed I'm hoping that I can keep it going with him for a little while yet!

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