Reading is Fundamental

The past few weeks Brent and I have been wondering when Knox & Sloane will really be able to understand us as we read books to them. I know they hear us reading, but often times they act like they could care less and would rather being doing something else. I know this is normal, but I know on more than one occasion, Brent and I have both gotten a little flustered because they want to jump out of our lap or just turn the pages over and over again. We worry they aren’t listening. They hear us, but when will they want to listen?

I’ve heard over and over again how important it is to start early, as far as reading to your child. That was our goal, to start early. I guess I thought by starting early, they would be sitting at our lap at this point and just looking at the pictures and listening to the story; maybe even picking out which book they wanted to read.

Okay, that’s probably rushing things a bit. Really, though, I think part of me is just excited for them to love books, want to read, want to listen and know who all these amazing characters are. I really hope that happens.

Yes, I kind of have a love for storybook characters.

This morning, while Knox & Sloane were napping and I was folding laundry, I had the TV on and this commercial came on……


I was intrigued. I loved it.

At the end of the commercial, it had a blub about Reading is Fundamental. I went and got my computer to look it up. RIF seems like a great program. You can read about it here.

Reading is important. Knowing several teachers, I do know that a lot of parents don’t read to their kids as often, some not at all, or as early as it is encouraged. Of course a teacher will teach your child, but I think as a parent, it begins at home.

Obviously, Brent and I have no intentions to give up on reading to Knox & Sloane, but this video and the RIF website really gave me a nudge. I’ll be patient with Knox & Sloane as they learn to listen and then eventually learn to read. I’ll teach them in a way they want to learn. Right now, they love books that make noise and they love books that have things they can feel on the pages. They are still enjoying learning about sounds and textures. When they see a picture of parrot and then push the button, they are learning; they are listening. Then, I make the parrot noise and sometimes they almost fall over laughing at me.

I know they will listen when they are ready. I’ll continue to read :)

*Cute outfits straight from Australia from our sweet friends :)


  1. says

    Reading to your children is SO important. I am a huge book lover thanks to my mom who read to me from the time I was very little! Stick with it, eventually they will become interested. I went to school with a lot of children whose parents never read to them and in turn they hated reading and found it challenging. High fives to you and your husband for taking the initiative to get Sloane and Knox interested in books. Try to find a few of those scratch and sniff books that usually come out around Christmas. I remember loving those as a kid, in fact I still have a few and they still smell! =)

  2. says

    If they are wanting to touch the pages and turn the pages – they are getting it! They might not fully understand, but that's not important at this point. Just them knowing the concept of turning pages and (eventually) which way the book goes…is huge! I work for a children's literacy program – you should check out to see if it's available in your area. It's a free book program for kids ages birth through their fifth birthday. It's administered by the Dollywood Foundation. GREAT program!

  3. says

    I often wondered the same thing when my son was little. Was he actually understanding anything I read?! Was it worth it!? Well I'm a huge reader, as is my husband, so there was no way we were going to stop. We started reading to him when he was a few weeks old, and he's now almost three and as much of a 'reader' as we are. Will not go to sleep without reading in bed first. Knows if we've skipped pages of his favorite books. Pulls his books off his bookshelf (which is stuffed full) multiple times a day. It will be quiet, which normally means trouble, but I'll find him in his bean bag chair reading. Just keep with it. Keep books a part of your daily routine, have them accessible to the kids, and they'll show more and more interest. They're still pretty young yet, but they'll get there.

  4. says

    We signed up with the imagination library (mentioned above) and it is awesome! A new book each month. :-) We started reading to our boys very early, and they both LOVE to read now (or be read to). When they were your kiddos' ages, we did a lot of naming objects in the book and asking "where's the ." That seemed to keep their attention better than reading the words, although we still tried to do that as well so that they could hear the patterns in speaking.

    Love books, and in no time Knox and Sloane will be bringing books to you asking you to read to them. :-)

  5. says

    Stick with it. I have a two year old and she is just now sitting still while I read. When she was a baby I used to read the longer books with a ton of words on each page. She would turn the page before I got done with the first sentence. Then I got a couple of books with only a few words on each page and she loved it. It definitely held her attention much more (as well as the "Can you find the…like the girl mentioned above). She recently brought me The Lorax to read to her and she sits through the whole thing now. So, I guess long story longer the smaller they are the less words should be on the page? Maybe? I dunno, I only have the one kid but that's what worked for us.

  6. says

    It is frustrating that Julia would rather chew the book than look at it, but we'll keep trying. I think we need to get more options for us so we don't get bored with the very simplicity of the baby books.

  7. says

    I felt the same way when my 3 year-old was little. We started reading almost immediately and it took a long time for him to have any interest. Sometimes he would cry or get frustrated when I would try to read to him, and I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Now? It's one of his favorite activities. He is constantly asking to read books and LOTS of them. It makes me so happy that he loves to read!

  8. says

    my 2yr old loves books and constantly brings one for us to read to him, so sweet! and on a totally unrelated note… i don't want to wish their lives away, but i can't wait to see sloane as a teenager, she will be one beautiful lady! not that she already isn't! :) and sweet knox is so handsome. i hope you're still blogging in 15yrs, ha! :)

  9. says

    My school does RIF. Such a great program! Children pick up on so much more than we think, even when it seems like they're not interested. Keep it up!

  10. says

    At their age, their attention span is still pretty short. Just hang in there! One day you'll walk out of the library with a bag so full you can barely carry it, and they'll want to read every single book the second they walk in the door! I still read to my 8 year old every night and it's something we both enjoy- and he's a great reader himself! Our schools do RIF- they even did it when I was a kid. My son just loves the idea of a new book, so he's always excited to tell me when RIF has come to school.

    Keep up the good job!

  11. says

    You are giving your children such a gift! There is much research that children who are read to from birth are ahead of their peers when they enter kindergarten. They are "listening" in their own one year old way. Please read aloud every day….short books, many times a day. I am a Reading Specialist and have taught the past 25 years. You want to look for books with rhyme and repetition. These are some of the basic pre-reading skills that many children do not have developed. Make it fun. Play with books. Give books as gifts. Surround your children with books. Board books are great choices for them now so they can turn the pages and interact with the books. Children have, on average, an attention span equal to their chronological age. Therefore, you can expect one minute of focused "attention" from Knox and Sloane when reading. Then they will be on the move. You might want to try reading when they are getting sleepy and are ready to cuddle and hear a few more minutes. You are so correct that you and Brent are your children's first and BEST teachers! The interaction with books, the fact that they are a part of your routine, the fun and the memories will stay with them and help them as they become lifelong readers. My 7th grade son still asks me to read aloud to him every night at bedtime! I cherish that! Keep with it, keep it playful and know that they are learning far more than it may seem! Kuddos to you and Brent!!

  12. says

    The more you do it now, the more they will be used to it when they are older. The patient listening will come, believe me… our 14 month old jumps on us and tries to turn the pages, our five year old will ask us for 10 books a night, he loves it so much.

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