I am obsessed with learning. It is one of my very favorite things to do. I am the kid that loved going to school, was frequently teacher’s pet, and was thrown for a loop when I stopped going to school. I read non-fiction now more than fiction, because my desire to know has surpassed what fiction can provide. I desire, every day, to share the passion of knowledge with my children. With both of them being younger than pre-school age, my initial idea of them learning by me teaching specific things at specific times had to be scrapped to make way for how kids really learn. I can’t spend hours and hours with them going over reading, writing, and arithmetic. Simply because they can’t sit there for that long.
The one thing that I can do, which breaks the boundaries between parent and teacher, is reading to them. Reading to your kids creates the perfect setting for bonding time, while still allowing you to teach them on an academic level. From the parenting side of things, you get cuddle time, a chance to provide one-on-one attention, and a break from the stresses of everyday life. From the teaching side of things, you are teaching them whatever it is that you are reading about, how to properly use a book, and language skills. It’s perfect, because they don’t even realize that they’re learning something, because they’re so caught up in getting attention from you.
With our children’s young age, we prefer to buy books, rather than check them out from the library. So, then it becomes a matter of having enough books to keep them interested, while still saving money. As far as keeping them interested, they’re at a point in life where reading the same book over and over again is completely acceptable. We could probably get away with only having ten books, but then I’d probably get bored, so we have close to 50 children’s books. Anyone who’s been to their local bookstore can attest that children’s books are not cheap, so we have only ever bought a few there, and about as many have been given to us.
The bulk of our children’s books come from the dollar store or the dollar section of stores. My favorite place to buy books for my girls is at the dollar section in Target. You can buy whole sets for under $5, and spend hours reading them over and over again. Plus they are made out of material more durable than paper, so kids can read them by themselves if they feel inclined. Another place that I have found children’s books for a very good price is yard sales. We have gotten primo books for $.25 each, and walked away almost doubling our collection.
Reading is fun, and reading while cuddling with your children is even more fun. You can make up random voices for all the characters, and your child will copy you. Together, you can pick out a favorite section to memorize and have it as an inside joke. And, you can relax, knowing that you are teaching your child in a way that is conducive to them enjoying learning.