Nurture a love for reading

The husband and I share a love for reading. It’s something that we always wished to instill in our little girl, and now that it seems it has rubbed off on her, I hope the love continues well beyond her childhood years.

laging_eksena
A typical bookstore scene. Always. Even if she’s just looking at the pictures 🙂

No, she can’t read yet but she loves stories, all sorts of stories. When she was still a baby her pedia recommended that we read her stories before bedtime as a kind of sleep-time cue.

It is effective. We read almost every night up to now, and it is rare when she doesn’t fall fast asleep after two to three stories.

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Enjoying an Elephant and Piggie story.

Include Filipino books

Once a week I pull out a Filipino book for bedtime. I feel relieved that it’s not something I have to insist on (a Filipino story), because English is what she is comfortable using at the moment. My aim is to make my daughter fully bilingual.

If your kid is anything like mine (hirap sa Tagalog), know that reading Filipino stories to them is very helpful in getting them more interested in the language. Yes, it’s more tedious because you’ll end up reading the English translations too, but it’s worth the effort. They need to hear those Tagalog words often if they’re ever going to speak them fluently.

Anvil_books
Filipino storybook haul from this year’s Manila International Book Fair. My daughter chose these herself.

Mariel Uyquiengco of The Learning Basket says, “You have to be intentional about exposing children to language.” You can read Filipino books or sing nursery rhymes in Filipino. My daughter’s school has been a big help in this area – the first Filipino song she knows by heart is Tong Tong Tong Pakitongkitong, and then I taught her Paa Tuhod 🙂

Here she is as a little alimango along with her classmates for last year’s Buwan ng Wika celebration.

Smart Parenting also lists telling a story in Filipino as one way of helping a child learn the Filipino language and also to expose her to Filipino culture.

Fortunately, there’s an abundance of Filipino books for children. Most of them are wonderfully illustrated, and feature unforgettable characters.

Filipino_books_galore
A growing collection! Akira’s Filipino storybooks.

There’s a wealth of life lessons in these stories, too, but what I appreciate more is that Filipino storybook characters mirror typical Filipino kids, or their typical behavior. I would say, “parang si Aki o!” and we’d always get a big crack out of a book character that is like her in some way.

Include Bible stories

Lately, she’s been obsessing over Bible stories, but the stories she’s interested in leave me in a bind sometimes. It’s difficult enough to explain what a plague means to a 4-year old, but imagine the stress in having to tell her why God had to have the firstborn of Egypt killed in the story of Moses.

The_Picture_Bible
Her current favorite. Thank you to her Mamita for buying Bible story books.

Thankfully she also likes the story of Daniel, Jonah and the big fish, and the story of David and Goliath. But she still doesn’t know what a slingshot is. 

Jonah_big_fish
Cute illustrations!

Good values are a given with Bible stories, but a lot of them – especially the ones from the Old Testament – have a fantastical and incredible appeal to them. Almost like they’re geared especially for the children. Regardless of beliefs, I think they’re enjoyable stories.

This is from my childhood, a gift from my mom. The spine of the book is loose and the edges of the paper are getting brown, but I think Akira will still inherit this book in one piece and be able to read it in the future.

Go to book fairs

Knowing full well how bananas the traffic situation is going to be like, and how jam-packed the venue will be, a book fair is hard to miss for a bookworm (and a junior bookworm).

The crowds in the Fully Booked and National Bookstore booths. Good luck finding a quiet corner for perusing.

Truthfully, the discount isn’t much at 20% off. But it isn’t just books – there were toys, puzzles, art materials, and educational materials. More seasoned shoppers would make full use of the opportunity for early Christmas shopping, especially if there’s a lot of godchildren on their Christmas list. I could have prepared better.

Akira got bumped by other people several times, but she still had a great time. It was a good idea for the organizers to segregate most of the children’s books publishers on the second floor.

She recognized some of the stories that were told in school and excitedly showed them to me and told me all about them.

I got giddy with my own haul.

I don’t know why I was putting off getting started on reading Bourdain, but ah, here we are. And off to a good start, too.

Book fairs. They make for fun dates with the kids and a great excuse to shop because grownups need some bedtime reading too!

 

 

 

 

 


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