Here’s a post that I have drafted on paper a couple of months ago. Finally, I was able to publish it on the blog today!
We started reading to our son when he was still in my womb – from tiny board books given to his Dad as part of their office Kris Kringle to the downloaded nursery rhymes and story books on our iPad. Those tiny board books are still with us today and my son would still read them on his own, that is, pointing to pictures and identifying objects that he knows and mimicking the tone that I use during our read aloud sessions. He would be blabbing on some parts of the story.
His Dad, who commutes to and from work daily, would occasionally drop by BookSale, the bookstore adjacent to the bus terminal and would buy books that he knows our little boy would love. It was a good thing that the shop has a wide selection of books that they sell on bargain. My husband would usually buy three books from that store each month. But one time, he splurged on four books to cultivate our son’s growing love for reading and it was such a blessing that all of them were from our little one’s favorite series namely Curious George and Dr. Seuss.
When we began having weekly mother-and-son dates at the neighborhood mall, a trip to National Bookstore and BookSale is a must for my child. We would linger close to an hour at his favorite Children’s Books section as he would scan the pages of the books that piqued his interest. He loves books that involved animals and keeps going back to read them. Whenever I would notice that he likes a particular book, I would offer to buy it for him so we could enjoy it at home. He would decline most of the time. I’m so blessed to have a son who gets contented with browsing and window shopping At times when we would chance upon a book that he really liked or finally found an elusive title, I would purchase it right away and take him to Country Style where we would read our recent find while having doughnuts and coffee (for me).
At home on most mornings, he prefers having milk in bed and asks me to read a couple of books to him before we go downstairs for his breakfast. Recently, I adapted a fill-in-the-blanks strategy in where I would either let him finish a sentence or identify an object in the story. This makes our sessions more interactive and very lively. Doing this also encouraged him to read books on his own, even though he can’t read everything written in the pages yet. He would read before bedtime while waiting for Mommy and Daddy to finish the chores downstairs. When we’re all settled in bed, he would request that we read at least three books to him, which includes his activity books and his favorite dinosaur books, before finally going to sleep. He would also read Ate and Kuya’s old books at Granny’s after playing with the stuff inside their toy box. He would gladly peruse on his new book while we are waiting for our turn at the grocery’s check out counter, to pass the time at the doctor’s clinic and extended his patience as he waited for his parents’ passports to be renewed.
I’ve been praying that my son will carry on with the habit of reading books as he grows up and have children and grandchildren of his own and ultimately, pass on the habit to them. There’s so much that we can learn from reading. My husband and I have been discovering a lot from the books that we buy for our son. I never imagined that I could memorize a ton of dinosaur names just because my boy is so fascinated in them!
I have decluttered a few weeks ago and finally let go of my boy’s first batch of books. We have passed them on to his younger cousins hoping that they will also get hooked on reading. We still have plenty in the bookcase upstairs and in the shelf downstairs. We will be getting new ones, anyway. If books were money, my son would be rich by now.