I'm into time management and have been for over 26 years now. An area of time management that often escapes us is reading time. We get busy with so many other things that taking time to read often goes by the wayside. Building this important time should begin in childhood.
Former first lady, Barbara Bush, was read to by her parents, read to her children and grandchildren. She believes, and I agree, that reading aloud is one of the best kept secrets of good parenting. The impact on children is tremendous and gives them a head start on their formal education...perhaps even two and a half years ahead when entering kindergarten.
There is much more to be gained than just reading skills. The act of reading to a child teaches them sharing and involvement. Families are brought together and feelings of love are experienced by all.
A few tips from Barbara Bush and others involved in literacy programs are:
GET STARTED NOW. You can't begin too early in a child's life. Some even begin while the child is in the womb and keep right on after the birth. The most important point is to start reading aloud ASAP.
MAKE READING ALOUD A HABIT. A favorite reading time by many families is at bedtime, I know it was for my own children while growing up and now they do the same with their own children. Snuggling together with a few favorite books, which after awhile can almost be recited by heart, makes for special times and warm memories. It doesn't matter when you read, but consistency to the time of day is helpful, if even for only 15 minutes a day. Often time dishes and housework can wait because reading can lead to a more productive life, thus it has a higher priority.
A study done many years ago, by Delores Durkin, researcher at the University of Illinois studied 205 children who learned to read before starting school. She found a common thread: their parents made it a habit to read to them.
INVOLVE THE WHOLE FAMILY. Mom isn't the only one who can read or should read to children. Involve father, brother, friend, day-care providers, babysitters, and grandparents. President George H. Bush even took a turn reading to his grandchildren when vacationing at Kennebunkport, Maine.
Now, be sure to take time to make time for some of your own reading time and some with your kids!
Note: Meet me here next week when we'll continue to explore more about reading time management.
Judy Warmington, Woman Time Management (owner) -- Busy wife, mother of three adult/married children, grandmother of 10 (5 boys and 5 girls!), former high school teacher (M.A. from W.M.U.), Speaker, Author, Radio Personality, and Trainer of Professional Organizers.