Wednesday, February 8, 2017

House of Learning

Although I love the visual aspects of a home, I also love what the spaces of a home facilitate...a place of learning. My home is where I am safe to be me, in all my complicated and rough-hewn glory. I am constantly learning and my home is where this all begins. When I was a kid, it was usually on someone's bed that we read since our hand-me-down couch wasn't terribly comfortable.

My mom was not all too concerned about design elements in her home, but she was concerned with how her children were using their time. When we said we were bored, her first response was always..."Read a book!" I loved to read her Dr. Seuss when I was first learning to read and later, in the summers, before I was old enough to work, my siblings and I would listen to my mom read us book after book. We were completely enthralled with the stories and we were equally in love with our fun-loving mom who still knew how to get lost in a good book.

We always knew that when Scholastic book orders came home with us from school, my mom would make a way for us to get at least one book. We had several bookshelves of books to choose from and if we didn't have it in our home library, my mom was always game to take us to the library. I have one specific memory of going to the library and checking out my first chapter book. It was a big deal and I devoured all of the books that I checked out well before the due date. When did your love of books and reading begin?

So, now, I want to create a place where my children can read, learn, and grow. I hope you will spend time reading with your kids each day and take the time to notice what they really like about the books. Ask them questions and let them take their time digesting the words and the illustrations. Sit close to each other and let it be a time for both of you to unwind. I am guilty of trying to rush reading time, and I know I miss opportunities to teach my children when I do.

After creating inviting spaces for your kids to get comfortable with a book, your job is to have books available to them! Below I share some favorites at our house. I may continue sharing books with you since this is really only a few of our favorites. Let me know if you have questions. All of the titles have a link to the book on Amazon, if you want to look a little closer. Enjoy!

All of Baby Nose to Toes

This book has awesome illustrations, fun-to-read text and lots of opportunities to snuggle and connect with your baby or toddler. I have a lot of great memories reading this to each of my children. 

This book teaches confidence and is funny. David Catrow is a favorite illustrator of ours. We also have Where's my T-R-U-C-K? which is also illustrated by David Catrow. 

This book is ultimately about sharing and playing together. My girls love the details and the elephant, of course. 

This is another book about sharing and does a great job of showing what can happen when we don't share. Since my girls are at the age where sharing is hard, I love to have a book that helps me teach them the concept and also entertains them. 

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