Submitted by Kelli M
- ParentsI love that my children love to read; however, reading with my 2-year-old son, Bryce, is very different at this stage than it was with my now 4-year-old daughter, Alex.
My 4-Year-Old Daughter
My daughter was distinctly interested in learning how to mimic every sound she heard, focused on remembering every word I read to her. Before she was three, she had memorized entire stories and would “read” each one page by page before she could actually read a word.
My 2-Year-Old Son
My Son loves to read, but for him reading is purely about entertainment. He’s not at all interested in the flow of a story and what it’s about. He simply wants to laugh at the funny voices I use for each character and mimic the sound effects I add to every action word that comes along. So, yes, my son loves reading, but his focus is entirely different than my early-reading daughter’s was.
His Reading Path is Different
Alex was self-driven and focused on conquering the skill. Bryce just wants to have fun with reading and not think too much about the process. Does it worry me that he is clearly not on the same path that my daughter chose as her mission? Not at all. I simply accommodate his learning style with the books I choose and the manner in which I read to him.
Types of Books My Son Enjoys and Why He Likes Them
- Rhyming Stories: These stories are easy to set to a tune and “sing” which keeps his attention longer than a hum-drum, basic read does – I’ll repeat the rhyming sounds for emphasis and point to each word (he may not strive to memorize entire stories, but he’s learning, whether he knows it or not) – Pooh’s Rhyme Time books are good about featuring pictures of objects with the corresponding names underneath, so Bryce will actually say the word when he sees the visual clue (it’s nice how learning just happens)
- Stories with Vivid, Distinctive Characters – These stories lend themselves well to being acted out with different funny voices for each character (again, the entertainment factor at work here) – Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series is wonderful; it provides vivid characters to act out, as well as great action to “sound” out
- Action-Packed Stories – These stories take the entertainment factor a step further by providing interactive opportunities – Bryce loves to watch for the action and create his own little soundtrack for the blast, crash or boom – again, check out Jon Scieszka’s Trucktown series for great action stories and engaging characters
Making It Fun So He Loves to Read
So, I have fun reading with my little boy, and I resist the urge to compare his learning style with my daughter’s. Bryce will grow up loving to read, perhaps for different reasons than his sister’s. However, loving to read is the first step he’ll take toward writing that Pulitzer Prize winning novel someday… and perhaps Alex will be a professional golfer on the LPGA tour.
Location: Colorado, USA
Positions: Parent, Classroom Teacher, Librarian
Wow Kelli, your article is a testimony to the importance that parents engage their sons at an early age. If you keep tailoring to his reading needs / interests, I have no doubt that he will like to read as he grows up. Way to go!
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Location: Rhode Island, USA
What a great article! An yes, I think when parents relax a bit and understand that all of our children learn at different paces and different ways it makes things a whole lot easier. I am also a firm believer that when your children know you are relaxed and enjoying what you are doing with them they too are relaxed and enjoying thus making it easier for them to actually learn.
Location: Manila, Philippines
I love the article. You have just given me encouragment on being relaxed. I also believed that children at a very young age should be encouraged and not forced, and this brings better results when they grow. Plus they tend to appreciate things better.