As parents in this generation, many of us experience technology battles daily. Video games, ipads, computer time, and smart phones all battle for our children’s attention. With games, music, the internet, and all kinds of things to keep kids occupied, more and more families are choosing technology over books. However, reading to a child can have the most impact on the child’s ability to learn. Jim Trelease, author of the classic “Read Aloud Handbook” says, “It’s not the toys [or technology] in the house that make the difference in children’s lives; it’s the words in their heads. The least expensive thing we can give a child outside of a hug turns out to be the most valuable: words. You don’t need a job, a checking account, or even a high school diploma to talk with a child.” He goes on to say that reading to a child increases their vocabulary and they will have the advantage of going to school with a foundation of knowing and understanding more of the world around them.
Reading aloud as a family not only increases a child’s intelligence, but also can create fun family traditions. To strengthen family ties and encourage family reading, I will be creating a series of family read aloud recommendations. Every fourth Tuesday of the month, I will feature a family favorite book. If you have favorites your family loves, please post them in the comments below, and they may be featured in this series. Family reading is a wonderful time to enjoy and learn together.
Our first selection is the classic American series, “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Some may say that these books have lost their savor, that kids of our time wouldn’t like them because they don’t relate to our time, but if you are wanting to inspire your children with stories of perseverance, love, hard work, and dedication, these books are for you.
Set in the pioneer days of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s, these books follow the young girl Laura and her family. They move out onto the Kansas prairie and encounter many hardships as they begin a new life on the plains. The Ingalls family stories will keep you entertained and give your family life lessons and stories to talk about. These books are also a fabulous way to learn about the history of America. There are detailed descriptions of food preservation and preparation, farming, old-time social activities such as dances, barn-raisings, and spelling bees. If you’re wanting to learn about good, old-fashioned fun and family values, Read some of the “Little House” books with your family. It’s the perfect time of year to begin family reading.