If you are the parent of a child under the age of five, you will definitely want to read this post.
Books have been a life long passion of mine. Even now as an adult, once I find a good book, it’s hard for me to put it down. The love that I have for books is the same love that I want for children to have for them. My oldest who is now 12, have been reading full chapter books since kindergarten. Yes, you read that correctly. Her very first chapter book was Goosebumps: Welcome to Horrorland. By the summer leading into her first-grade year, she had already completed the entire series. In second and third grade she read the entire Harry Potter series, and in fourth grade, she read the first Twilight book. Even at 12, it is difficult to find books that she hasn’t read, or that I think she should read (currently she is on another Rick Riordan series, and reading the Red Queen series simultaneously). Seriously, the girl reads so much, that the only punishment we could ever have for her is to take her books, and because I love books so much, I could never do that to her!
I would love for all of my children to have that same enthusiasm, but I know that chances are that at least one or two of them will not, and that’s okay, as long as they understand that reading every day is important.
This is why I love the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program. The premise of the program is this: the goal is to have 1000 books read before your child starts kindergarten. Simple right? Of course, it is! One book each day for three years is all it takes. And if you start early on, you will complete the program early on, and if you continue until the age of 5, you would have surpassed the amount needed.
Why is this program important?
Focusing on literacy early on increases reading readiness. It helps early language skills and will help contribute to positive home experiences. Reading books aloud to your children is an excellent way of increasing phonological awareness-identifying the alphabet and practicing sounds.
Reading also allows you to prepare your child for kindergarten. Books can encourage and reinforce skills in math, science, social studies and of course language arts. Allowing children to make connections early on is a powerful tool that can be used as they continue through school.
Teaching a child to activate his prior knowledge begins with modeling how to make connections through think-alouds. As the caregiver reads, he can express the connections he is making from the text to himself, to the world around him and to other texts he has read. There are ample opportunities for a caregiver to model this behavior as he shares books with his child.-Liz Bowie
The books your child reads during this time reinforces knowledge and creates new experiences for them, preparing them for school.
Over the next few months I will be sharing our progress through the program, as well as providing information on various books you can read to your child. Many local libraries have this program available for families to sign-up, however, if yours does not, talk to them about starting one. Also, the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten also has an official app for the iPhone and Andriod phones. The app is simple: sign up, add your children and as you complete books log them. I will tell you not all books are listed. So you may have to scan the barcode of the book, or manually.
If your family is completing the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program, tag us on social media using the hashtag #gngreads1000, we would love to share photos of fellow readers from all over!
Do you have any great book suggestions to share? Drop them below and we will include them in a future post! Happy Reading!
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.