Probably the most common question I received from parents as a Montessori teacher was, "What should we be doing at home?" And my answer was always the same: Read together.
Much to my dismay, parents always found this answer wildly disappointing. They wanted to hear answers like, "Flash cards! Math facts! Reading drills!" but those things are nowhere near as valuable as reading together. Click on "Read More" below to learn my top four reasons why.
Reading together is a time when parents and children truly connect. Whether snuggled up on the couch or in bed, it's a time to come together and strengthen your bond.
Expanding your child's vocabulary doesn't happen through flash cards or drilling; it happens through wide exposure to language in use. This naturally occurs in daily life, but reading provides great exposure to vocabulary and word usage that might fall outside of our everyday life. Hearing your voice while seeing the words on the page is magical for language development. And for older children who can read, it "teaches" spelling without teaching!
For the Love of Reading
Reading together gives your child a positive association with books which will translate into a love of reading later on. There's everything to love about that. :)
Reduces Screen Time
When your child is a lover of books, it means less time in front of the TV, computer, iPad or other screen. That means more time engaging in a real life activity and less time sitting passively and not engaging at all.
Coco and I read together every morning after our morning walk and every evening before bed. She and J read together while I'm making dinner. Throughout the day, we both read to her when she randomly brings us books. :) All of her books are kept on low shelves where she can get to them without our help. We always find her "reading" on her own surrounded by books. It makes me so happy that she loves books so much because I learned to read when I was just three years old and reading was a huge part of my childhood. My mom continued to read aloud to my brother and me until I was in middle school! It was our wind-down time together in the evening before going to bed. Plus, she was really good at reading The Wind in the Willows aloud. ;) Is reading a high priority in your home? When and where do you read together?