I have a secret. And fortunately my beautiful husband doesn’t read my blog, so I can tell my secret to you, my curious reader.
When all my boys were little, from the womb in fact, I read them bedtime stories. I have very fond memories of my dad or my brother reading me stories at bedtime, and later of climbing into bed with a book I chose myself, watching those lines and squiggles on the pages become a world in my mind, taking me places and on adventures I may never get to have. In fact, those adventures went a long way toward turning me from a city slicker to a farm girl without ever looking back. There is still nothing cozier to me than burrowing into the covers at night with a book or my Kindle and reading until my eyes drift shut. I do it every night.
You know that my Littles and I read a chapter aloud together every day in class, and I have mentioned (over and over again) that I think engendering a love of reading is the biggest educational gift you can give your little ones. I haven’t written much about extracurricular reading, but I enforce it. The boys are required to read at least one book every four weeks. I developed a book report-starter worksheet that lays out everything I expect in a report in question format, and the Littles have to fill one out for every book, writing two full reports from those worksheets per semester. This is to ensure they are really reading on their own.
That’s not my secret.
My husband is a firm believer in ‘bedtime is bedtime,’ and when you go to bed, you turn out the lights and go to sleep. But when the Littles came to me one night and whispered, “Mommy, can we read our books in bed?” I didn’t hesitate. With a wicked grin I whispered back, “Oh, please do.” They’ve gotten caught a couple times. Their sweet father reminded them that if they want to read they should go to bed earlier. Behind his back, I slowly winked and shook my head.
Read, my beautiful boys. Whenever you want to, especially at bedtime, let those adventures and strange places and interesting characters lull you into pleasant (or even outrageous) dreams. Read while you’re brushing your teeth, while you’re riding in the car, while you’re waiting for your brother to finish his chores. Never, never believe anyone who says, “Now is not the time to read.”
Just don’t tell Daddy.