Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Celebrating Independence

Today marks a special day in our history.  One of the Boys is having a BIG birthday.  For a very long time he was convinced, with no contradiction (and maybe just a little encouragement) on my part, that the firework displays were all for him.  Every year in his Boy history has been marked by exploding lights in the sky.  Coincidentally, we also celebrate our nation's birth on this day as well (Yay USA!).
He did eventually make the connection and the distinction between his special day and Independence Day, but in our house, we make the most of each and every burst and boom in the sky on July 4th.  And with each passing year, he becomes more mature and independent.  From a Mom's perspective, this independence is both a source of pride and a tiny prick into my heart, as I know that some day he will be all grown up and go off to live his grown up life without me.

This summer is all about independence.  Independent reading, that is.  In an earlier post, I had written about the connection between emotional response and reading which you can read here.  Essentially, my goal this summer is to nurture an intrinsic, positive connection between independent reading and pleasure so that the love of reading carries over into the Boys' adult life.  However, even though our children are older and are capable of reading independently, we should still take opportunities to read to them out loud. 
It may seem counterintuitive~ I had said that they should be motivated to read independently, yet now Mom (and Dad) should read out loud TO them?  To that I say, Yes!  We should do both, actually.  Now, we are long past the days of reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (which I absolutely Know By Heart), but yes, I continue to read to the boys aloud.   
In education, research has shown that read-alouds should continue throughout a child's schooling, even through the upper grades and into high school.  For that matter, it should continue through adulthood.  Think about it.  Can you honestly say that you don't enjoy being read to?  If you are raising your hand, you are a liar.
Read-alouds are just as important as independent reading, not just for their pleasure-factor, but also for brain building learning, even in the upper grades.  While reading to your children aloud, you are building their vocabulary and language, increasing their comprehension and critical thinking, as well as revealing authors' writing style, craft, and story structure.  You are a role model for your child as you think out loud about the story and talk about something that was especially surprising, confusing, or hilarious.  And, of course, there is the snuggle factor...  Yes, even with big kids.  Even with Boys.

Happy Independence Day!  Celebrate it with a great read-aloud, after the fireworks.

Here are some great resources for you to use while you read aloud with your kids:

Read Aloud Tips and Parent Resources
Reading Rockets: Read Aloud
Read Aloud Questions/ Book Conversation Tips
Make the Most of Reading Aloud
Podcast: What Should I Read Aloud?
Resource Books for Parents via Read Kiddo Read

Book Resources
Read Aloud America
65 Favorite Read Alouds for Boys
Books to Read to Boys Before Age 10
Books 4 Boys
Guys Read

And of course, The Declaration of Independence 

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget the AMAZING Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease!


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