Raising a child is similar in certain ways to starting a new job: Once you have the basics down, you take it to the next level and figure out a way to excel. If you haven’t already, eventually you will think about your child’s future and what you need to do NOW in order to help them succeed in academics later. Having your child at Sunrise Montessori is an excellent start…no bias here! ;)…since we teach our students how to read before they enter the elementary school realm. As all parents know, it takes many things to help our children reach their full potential, and all future careers start with a solid foundation in reading. Research shows that children have much to gain from a book-filled home, in ways that go beyond literacy. Findings published in the journal Social Science show that raising a child in a home filled with books positively impacts their future academic growth and job attainment. Not to mention, reading is fun and takes us to magical places!
So WHICH books should you choose?
Not all children’s books stack up equally. In addition to research online, I also asked our Montessori Education Coordinator and 20+ year teaching veteran, Ms. Lara Gembicki, what she thinks are the essential titles that you should have in your child’s bedroom (her fave is The Listening Walk by Paul Showers). Some of these titles are obviously for the older reader, but having them in your child’s room on a high shelf gives them something to look forward to, even a goal of sorts to achieve one day. You can also read aloud to your child any book that they cannot handle yet. We do it with toddler books, so why not when our children are older? I did that with my son, John when he was six years old. I wanted to share some longer books like Harry Potter, so we created a nightly bedtime ritual where I would read for at least 10 minutes before he went to sleep. When he struggled to read in first grade because he didn’t want to read, I bought Captain Underpants books (yes, that’s a real series) to help him learn to love children’s literature that went beyond picture books. I even celebrated his achievements in school by going to the bookstore or library to buy a new book to add to his home collection. (He never fell in love with reading like his father and I, he’s more of a math kind of kid, but it definitely helped him do better in school and to this day, he loves a good story.) You would think that a child cannot sit for more than a few minutes listening to a book or that they require endless pictures in order to enjoy it, but kids LOVE listening to you and coming up with their own imagery! From hyper to upset to anxious states, reading to your child and one day, them reading on their own, is a magical elixir that helps them to be a better reader AND feel calm as they escape into a familiar story. Reading is the boss. 🙂
Try these children’s books and then add to your collection!
Below is our list of Sunrise Teacher Tested books that we suggest you have in your child’s bedroom. Feel free to ask your Sunrise Teachers what books THEY think are classics for even more titles (or check out our blog post from a few months ago entitled Our Teachers’ Favorite Book)! Every book as a certain “message” it’s trying to convey, like problem solving in Harold and the Purple Crayon or rhyming in Green Eggs and Ham. That’s why a variety is important, so that you hit all the big ticket items. Please don’t feel that you have to own these all at once. You can check out books for a spell at the library, for example. The point is that your child is seeing and experiencing them. Each book below has a hyperlink. May the force of reading be with you!
And personally, I couldn’t resist 😉