Importance of Letting Little Kids Read Big Books
We have lots of reference books, encyclopedias, science & history books, etc., in our home. One day a 2 year old picks one up and starts “reading” to us. This moment is a 50/50 opportunity. We can completely stunt or feed her reading abilities, forever, in one moment. Since I am both her mom and teacher, I certainly didn’t want to make things more difficult for myself, so I do consider from that perspective. But, mainly, I don’t want to discourage or hinder her development or curiosity in any way.
So, what do you do when a 2 year old picks up an encyclopedia?
Do you say “oh, honey, you’re too little to read that…”
Or do you say “you’re such a smart girl and you read so well!”
We prefer the latter.
Later on that 2- year-old started reading on her own by age 4, without difficulty. Now she’s grown up to be an avid reader who is fluent in language and reads well above her age/grade level.
One day another little girl, some years later, at age 3 picked up the Bible and told me that she was going to read to me about Jesus. Really she just flipped through the pages. Somehow Scooby Doo got in there with Daniel and David, but hey, some preachers have given worse interpretations, and at least she’s learning. When she was done she was so excited that she went on to read to Daddy, and he got a completely different story, but that’s ok.
One thing she’s learning is that no book is ‘too big’ for her to read, no word too long, and nothing is too big to conquer. Eventually she will pick up the words as we get into her education further. Right now she’s gaining confidence in reading, before she can even sound out a word. How awesome is that?
We only own books our kids are allowed to read at some point in their lives – the same with movies or anything other media. That doesn’t mean everything in our house is G-rated, because Lord of the Rings just isn’t. We own few movies that we do have some restrictions on such as – you can watch this when you’re a little older – but never a ‘you can’t watch or read this’.
Our big rule has been “never anything negative” with teaching the kids. Now, we certainly don’t go around flattering unworthy accomplishments. Instead, we strive to encourage our children to grow and reach above – higher and higher, with everything they decide to do. We want to them to know that they can truly do anything they want, even a toddler can read a great big book.
Have an awesome day & God bless,