March 25, 2013

Joyful Mom Monday - Read To Your Kids

Counting God's Little Blessings
Happy Monday to all of you!  Today is our Joyful Mom Monday post!  One thing that my kids and I love to do together is READ!!!  It gives us topics to discuss, endings to imagine, words to discover the meaning of, characters to relate to, situations to work through, and so much more!  Our family reads so much together that I do believe we measure our time more by our reading schedule than by the clock!  I hope that you take the time to read with your kiddos!  As a mom, it is a wonderful opportunity to build dreams, imagination, ideals and character into your children, and there really is nothing I look forward to more in my day than sitting in my chair with a kiddo on each arm of the chair, one in my lap, and two left (pouting) in the floor at my feet while I read to them about all kinds of daring adventures.  Here are a few ways we incorporate reading throughout our day.  You may or may not be able to read this way with your kiddos because every family is different, but I would love to hear your ideas on this well as some of your favorite books!

BIBLE - We almost always begin every day with reading from the Bible.  I always read a few verses straight from the Bible because I want my children to love the Bible itself, and I want it to be their favorite book.  However, they are young still, and so I also read Bible stories from various children's Bible story books. Some of our favorites have been The Child's Story Bible, 100 Ways to Know God Loves Me. The Big Picture Bible and Egermeier's Bible Story Book.  Right now, we are using Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd Jones.  This is an excellent book to have as an adult and gives many wonderful reminders of the beautiful truths of what we have in Christ.

POETRY - Most every day during our morning snack, I read the kids some poetry.  We began with Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.  Now, we read from many different sources and authors and even enjoy memorizing some of our favorites.

FICTION - Each day before quiet time, we read a chapter...or two (I'm a big sucker for "let's read one more chapter...please?") of a fiction book.  We have read many, many books because of this lovely time set aside each day.  Little House on the Prairie, Old Yeller, The Wizard of Oz, Anne of Green Gables and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are just a few!  We are about to conclude the first book in a series called The Peleg Chronicles.  The kiddos are extremely disappointed that I forgot to order book 2 last week. 

TALES - Each afternoon, during our afternoon snack, we read historical tales that inspire character that is noble, true, honest, courageous, and pure.  We are reading Pilgrim's Progress, Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales as well as The Children's Book of Heroes.  These have provided many lively discussions for what could and should be done when characters are placed in different situations.

 FAMILY CHOICE AND MISSIONARY BIOGRAPHY - We read as a family each night before we go to bed.  We always read one chapter of a missionary's biography from the Christian Heroes: Then & Now Series.  We also take a poll between several different books and together choose another book to read in the evening.  Right now, we are reading Swiss Family Robinson and the biography of Jim Elliot.

We also enjoy checking out smaller "just for fun" books from the library such as Amelia Bedelia, What Do You Do with a Kangaroo?, Roxaboxen, The Little Match Girl, and many, many others.  I will read these to the younger ones during the afternoon free time or while the big ones are taking baths in the evening.  Evvie also reads to the younger ones 10 minutes every day while I work with Andrew in math.  The little ones enjoy listening to the chapter books although I do let them color or play quietly with legos or blocks as I read.  

Our family has found that since we have begun reading more intensely, our children do not ask to watch TV nearly as much as they used to.  They are not interested in computer games but instead enjoy using their own imaginations as they reenact the stories during their play time.  It has brought joy to me as a mom to watch my children letting go of the distractions and time-wasters of the world and engaging their minds and imaginations.  We also have happier play times and bed times.  Reading as a family has brought much joy to our home.  Again, this may not be how your family implements reading in your home, but I do hope you take time to read as a family so that you can reap the joyful moments and memories as well.  We are off to finish the tale of The Minotaur during afternoon snack now.  (By the way, another bonus is that I am always reading while everyone else is eating!  You would think I could lose a few pounds that way!) :)  Happy Reading!

Wishing you a day full of blessings,

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