I am thrilled again, to be contributing to "Share a Story-Shape a Future" as part of the week-long annual event celebrating literacy for children. Be sure to click on over to the main site for lots of additional resources and stories.
Today's Topic: Kindergarten
Earlier this week I shared my struggles in engaging my babies and toddlers into the act, let alone, the joy, of reading. It took a bit more work than I imagined. In the end my effort and dedication paid off and two little book lovers now sit beside me.
This event and it's call to contribute, reminded me of perhaps the most magical moment I ever shared when reading to my boys:
On the last day of Montessori preschool my older son was given a copy of "The Trumpet of the Swan" by his teacher as a graduation gift. I admit, I had not yet attempted to read a chapter book to my charges, then 5 and 3. I happily followed the nudge of their teacher, she must know better than me that they are ready.
I hadn't read the book since I was a child, and at that time I didn't live in Boston. I had no memory of the story's setting and was overjoyed with our charmed geography as I read to my boys. In celebration of completing the book we headed into Boston to visit the major locations in the story: The Boston Public Garden, Swan Boats and Arlington Street where the Ritz use to be (now the Taj). We were on a hunt to find that swan.
As we entered the gates of the Public Garden we immediately heard someone playing an instrument. I knew it was a saxophone, but didn’t let on to them. We stopped walking, I called their attention and we listened and questioned, could it be Louis? Was he actually there playing his trumpet? The look of awe, wonder, thrill, excitement, anticipation and magic in their eyes is something I hope I never forget. I honestly think that it is one of the most simply amazing and memorable moments I have had as a parent so far. We followed (nearly running) the music until we came upon a man playing the saxophone and “it”, the moment, and thrill so immediately gone. It was that precious.
I know I will cherish and remember this book, that summer and the experience of reading it to them. Mostly however, is that I appreciate the encouragement to "read up". I didn't think they were ready for such a text. How utterly wrong I was.
We have so many examples to follow, so much advice to take or not take. When it comes to reading with our children however, I think there is simply no way to get it wrong. All we need to do is read, read more, read longer, read up and don't ever stop.