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Reading Readiness… the Importance of Reading to Children...

It has been said time and time again that it is never too early to start reading to a child. Reading to children is one of the most important activities to prepare them for learning to read. One study suggested that in order to prepare a child for reading the desired amount of reading one-to-one time was 1,000 hours! That works out at about 40 mins per day of reading time… if you begin from age 1 to age 5. I probably achieved this with my daughter. And as far as she is concerned it worked! The boys have not received he same amount of one-to-one reading time, for a combination of factors. The Jedi Boy would not sit still that long at such a young age! And quiet simply, it’s harder to find the time when you have more children. So although the 40 mins is desirable, it is not always achievable. Here are some ideas for homes with many children, not enough hours, or with children who will not sit for that long! 1. Read books at different times in the day. You do not need to read book after book in one sitting until you have achieved 30-40 minutes. Space books out throughout the day. Remember the idea is for children to find the experience enjoyable! 2. When things are beginning to get out of control read a quick book, it can have a great calming effect, particularly when the reason for bad behaviour is tiredness. 3. Have older children read to younger children. This is good practise for older children, and makes them feel grown up, it also helps to build bonds between siblings. 4. Something is better than nothing. Find books that interest the child, and build on that foundation. A little is better than nothing, and can be added to as the child’s ability to stay focused and concentrated grows. 5. Create a text rich environment. Children who are surrounded by books, and who see reading as “normal”, tend to read more quickly. 6. Have family reading times. Read a book to all the children at the same time, choose simple chapter books, and do as much or as little as younger children can listen to. Very young children will still pick up on the reading experience. Lastly, the at home environment is the best place to develop reading readiness. Schools and nurseries try to recreate the at home environment for young children in order to promote learning and facilitate reading readiness. How blessed is the child who receives this at home naturally....

Wild Weekends: Walking in the Pentlands

One of my favourite walks at the moment is around the Pentland Hills outside Edinburgh, it is an easy walk to do with young children and a buggy. We part at near the Flotterstone Inn, then walk along the marked path through a small woodland area. When we come out, it is about 100 yards to a gate on the left. We take the path through the gate and follow the small stream. View Larger Map The stream takes you past fields and you can see the hills around you. We were able to watch the baby calves with their mothers, and do a bit of wild flower identification. The stream eventually takes you to a fork, the right is a steep climb (well steep with a buggy!) and the left goes a little further, and comes to a water fall- very beautiful. We go to the waterfall, then back before taking the steep climb to the farm road. When you reach the raod turn right and back to the car park. There are many walks in the area- for all ages and abilities. Serious hillwalkers can go off for a day hiking, there is fishing available at of Gladhouse Reservoir. For older children, the farm road goes around the reservoir, but my brood with little legs find it a bit far- but the scenery is beautiful. The Pentlands boasts a range of wildlife, at the weekend we watched a Kestral on the hunt, hoovering above our heads. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

In the Midst of Mayhem…

With four young children, a day is like a whirlwind of noise and mess. Some days all you can do is cling on, bearly in control of this crazy busy life. The children can drive you to distraction. You want it all to stop, for an oasis of calm, and stillness in the midst of mayhem. But they won’t comply- why should they? They are living, exploring, testing, growing… they are being who they are. Parenting young children can feel like never-ending drudgery. On such days I come to the end, not sure if the strength is their for the next one lined up tomorrow, or the day following, or the seemingly endless days thereafter. Then you read words of wisdom from a mama further down that road less travelled than yourself. A mama who is watching her boys grow into men. Who cannot go back to the mayhem of little boys rampaging through the house with swords, or have a small boy climb upon her knee looking to suckle on the breast. Then you remember why you do it all, and why to cherish the mayhem, as it really won’t last forever. A day will come when the house will be calm, quiet, and tidy; and when that days comes will you yearn to be back in the midst of mayhem? Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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