parents have dreams for their kid. We each want success and happiness for our
little ones, but besides that common denominator, everyone wants something
different for their baby.
One mom wants her son to be a little football star;
another might want medical school in their kiddo’s future. For those that have
a love of the written word, we want our sweethearts to have a healthy appetite
for books and a flair for writing. Almost any parent will spend their child‘s
academic career from fifth grade onward grooming their honey to walk whatever
path they wish for them. The key method to raising a little author starts far
before they take their first wee steps into a schoolyard though.
parents see those cute little board books in the children’s section of the
bookstore and giggle, thinking “Yeah right, as if my infant cares what
those pages say.” Think again, mom and dad. Reading to your baby early on
builds a routine that becomes beloved to them. The melodious voice of Mama
washing over them as she holds a bright little book out will become the norm
for them every day and spark that love of all things literary before they can
do much more than chew on the pages. Babies absorb a lot more than we give them
credit for. Have you ever been somewhere that people are conversing in a
foreign language you don’t speak? You might not understand them and even though
the words fall like gibberish on your ears, you can pick up the basic tone of
the conversation. Be it happy, sad, angry or funny you’ll likely know what the
speaker is feeling. Infants are constantly in that scenario, picking up tones
and body language in the midst of all that gibberish they hear. When mom or dad
has a loving and happy time reading to them, they know, and they cherish it
just as you do.
budding writer is about more than reading to your child. The next step is to
teach them letter recognition so they can prepare for the next step of reading.
A child doesn’t have to be five or six before they learn to read basic words.
Teaching the alphabet is a fundamental way to start the ball rolling and can
start as early as you want it to. Sing the ABC’s to your little one very slowly
and steadily from the time they’re able to show you they enjoy singing a song.
You’ll be surprised how easily they take on the tune and start trying to mimic
the sounds you’re making. When your child is able to start walking and pointing
to things you can do the same. Walk to a book and say “What is this? This
is the letter P.” With a combination of reading, singing, and pointing it
out, you’ll notice your not-so-little baby absorbing and eventually repeating
these things to you. Before their second birthday, they know their letters and
delight in picking up books to show them to you. Many children of writers or
people who simply love the written word are reading small words by the age of
three and reading their favorite books to themselves by five.
little bit enters school, they’ve already built a foundation for a fabulous
literary appetite. By continuing to read every day for at least an hour they’ll
keep their grasp on that love of reading. Once they enter their later elementary
and eventually high school years, they’ll have known the joys of reading and
writing for so long it will seem only natural to them. Of course when you raise
a child with expectations you might not always get your way; our kids are not
robots after all and can think for themselves. By giving them that foundation,
you’re simply giving them a push in the right direction. Build that love of
reading and writing early and you might have a future author; if not, you’ve at
least given the most precious person in your life the best start they can have.
– Naomi Esterly for TheMomsBuzz.com
About the guest blogger:
Naomi Esterly is a freelance writer for 1800WheelChair.Com, a mother of two
boys, a new baby girl and a wife to an army man. She is also a volunteer in her
community center where she teaches teens on how to write effectively. In this
guest post she shares pointers that will help us develop the writer within our