Hey everyone, this is another random Whatever Wednesdays post. I wanted to talk about how important I think reading is, but that is kind of a nebulous topic. Instead, I’m going to talk about “Reading with Vietaliana” ie, reading with my daughter.
Reading with Vietaliana
First things first, my daughter is 4 years old. Since my wife and I are both full-time physicians, she’s been going to daycare/preschool 5 days a week for most of the day since she was about a year old. Her preschool is great, she does worksheets everyday learning how to count by 1s, 2s, 5s, etc. Also, they teach them how to count 1-10 in Spanish and Japanese.
In regards to learning to read, she’s been doing sight words on and off for awhile now. She’s been able to recognize a good amount of them for awhile now and we do flash cards with her sometimes. However, we never really pushed her to learn to read.
There are a few schools of thought when it comes to learning how to read, but here is my take on it:
It’s a marathon, not a race.
I know some parents want their children to learn to read as quickly as possible. Perhaps you may do a lot of flash cards to get them ready to read with sight words. Think of how many books they can read by the time they even start kindergarten! I think that’s one way to do it, and that’s fine.
However, I am more of a slow and steady guy. Rather than teach my daughter how to read and how important it is in the direct sense, I want to show her the joy of reading. This is not really something you can teach necessarily. I want her to feel the excitement of getting a new book. Additionally, I want her to feel fulfilled everytime she learns a new word, especially if she found it difficult in the first place.
As such, while we have done sight words with Kylie, it wasn’t a “race to learn 100” or “race to learn 200”. Then one day she picked up one of the “early reader” books we have laying around and something “clicked”, she could read this sight word book. It was exciting for her, and she wanted more.
The book she happened to pick up was the “Bunny’s New Friends” from this series:
Early Reader Sight Word Stories, Set of 4 Board Books (Duck’s Surprises, Kitten’s Busy Day, Bunny’s New Friends, Puppy’s Playful Day)
It’s actually a set of 4 books. I’m actually not sure where we got it from, maybe Costco?
Anyways, she immediately found the duck and kitten books, but we don’t know where the puppy one went to. We’ll probably find it in a corner somewhere when she’s 18 and going to college… Anyways, she read the ones she found… and… she wanted more.
So, I got on Amazon and ordered this set:
Meet the Sight Words – Level 1 – Easy Reader Books (boxed set of 12 books)
It has decent reviews and I looked at a few pages of the book online and it seemed to be relatively simple and cute. Also, if she likes set, we’ll get the next levels:
The set comes in this Friday and she is SO excited. Warms my heart.
What comes next?
Well, I don’t really know. However, I do have a few things in mind:
Books aren’t toys
A colleague of mine and I talked about this, and his friend came to the same conclusion as me, although a little more lax.
“Whenever we go out, you can get one toy, but books are always unlimited.”
I would prefer not to allow my daughter to get a toy everytime we go out, but his point is well taken. So now whenever we go anywhere, she can have as many books as she wants (within reason). I’d hope she would utilize her own Value Cost Ratio, but I don’t want any obstacles to stand in her way when it comes to reading.
To be honest, we were doing this even when she was small, but we ended up with so many books that we didn’t have time to read them all to her. She has her own mini library that she can delve into once she learns to read.
The library is a wonderland
One of the best things my mother ever gave me was the joy of reading and the power of the library. Every weekend, rain or shine, my sister and I went to the library and borrowed 10 books. More so than just the borrowing of the books, she taught me to respect things I borrowed. I was to keep the books nice and clean, and we made a list of every book I borrowed every week with their respective due dates.
Every weekend, without fail I would bring back the books I read, and kept the books I hadn’t finished, making sure they weren’t past due. Even after doing this for years and years, I couldn’t even make a dent in the library. However, I did read every single Matt Christopher and Choose Your Own Adventure book that our library had.
I think these weekly library trips taught me the joy of reading and the power of the library. One of the reasons I still enjoy reading and writing today is because of the trips. I learned responsibility and how to respect things that weren’t mine. I think I’m a better person because of those library trips.
I plan to do the same thing for my daughter. One of the reasons we bought our house is because it has a nice public library within walking distance to our house.
Will I actually walk there? Probably not. However, I could. That said, it’s a 5 minute car ride there. Once Kylie can read I plan to bring her every weekend just like I did. Unfortunately, our local library is closed on Sundays, so we can only go on Saturdays. Hopefully, her Saturday schedule doesn’t get too loaded up with other things.
The next big present
Once Kylie can learn how to read, I definitely want to get her a Kindle.
I’ve done the research, and I think currently the best one is this one:
Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – Black, 6″ High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers
It’s a little more expensive than the regular Kindle, but I think the “Paperwhite” (the built-in front light) really helps. While having “Audible” (text to speech) is a nice feature, since my priority if for her to enjoy reading (and not just listening), I don’t think it’s necessary. I’m also not sold on the cost of the new Kindle Oasis.
While waterproof and sleek, amongst a bunch of other new things, my Value Cost Ratio can’t justify its cost.
But who knows…? Maybe by the time Kylie will actually need a Kindle, the Oasis will have gone down in price to a reasonable amount.
Isn’t that Amazon’s modus operandi? Bring out new stuff at slightly higher prices for early adopters and then lower the price a few months later?
If you missed some of her recent YouTube vids, come check them out.
She’s so happy that she has 7 subscribers!
Reading is great.
But I think it’s a marathon not a race.
One toy, but unlimited books.
I want to show my daughter the joy of reading and power of the library.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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