I am a full-time working mother of three beautiful children. My two boys and my girl are my world. I do have to brag that my sons are doing well in their honor classes while my daughter is beyond excited to start elementary school this year. However, I have to point out there is one difference between my boys and my girl: My sons hate to read, and my daughter loves to read. Why is that? What did I do differently with my boys than with my girl?
Well, with my first two kids the family daily schedule was going to working full-time, school, aftercare, cooking dinner, homework, baths, and then bed leading to exhausting days. I occasionally fit in a bed time story when I felt up to it… then wake up the next morning at 6AM and repeat.
Sound familiar? I have to attribute my boys school success to their wonderful teachers; however, it began to sink in that their lack of enthusiasm for reading possibly fell on me. When I learned about research showing that by the age of two a child’s brain is as active as an adult’s and by age three their brains are more than twice as active as an adult’s, and it remains this way for the next ten years of their lives.
That’s when I realized how a child’s journey with literacy begins at birth. So, I took action and began reading to my youngest when she was still in my tummy. After she was born, I found ways to read to her while she was in her crib. My husband and I worked together to figure out how to cut 15 to 30 minutes out of our hectic evening schedules to make room for reading time.
What I soon discovered as my daughter grew older is how our reading together created a bonding and learning experience for both of us. Now she is starting to question the logic in some kid’s books and is growing into an inquisitive reader and listener.
By the age of three more than 85% of their brain is developed. Their young brains are sponges at this stage and ready to learn new things. I believe this to be true. One evening we were reading a story and she said, “Mommy, rocks don’t roll up the hill, they roll down. So, how do the rocks carry other rocks up the hill if they have no hands or feet? That doesn’t make any sense. Why didn’t the author give the rocks hands and feet? That would make the story more real.” At a young age my girl was learning critical thinking!
As parents, we need to take advantage of this time frame and fill their brains with as much information as we possibly can. Thus, early reading, I believe, makes a huge difference in how we look at the world around us, process information, and encourage creative solution thinking. I had to figure out how to get my boys interested in reading while young brains were still developing at such a critical age. They did not have the same literacy start in life that my daughter had, so how was I going to fix this?
I noticed at book fairs there were certain books they would buy and read in one day. So, they did LIKE to read! Once I figured out that they really loved books such as Diary of a Wimpy Kids and Captain Underpants. This tells me that all kids love to read, they just need to find the right books and turn into readers! So, I knew I could turn my boys into readers!
How can parents use this information to their advantage?
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. SeussChild’s literacy matters they say. Yes, it matters! Reading is Key! Start now!
Don’t try to fit in. Stand out by being you. Learning to replace negative thoughts with positivity changed Karlene J. Froling, author of The Mango Seed Doll and CEO of Kay’s Heart, LLC.
She was born on the beautiful island of Jamaica to Stanley and Ivy Brown. In 2003, she migrated to the US, where she currently lives with her husband, two young energetic sons and a daughter with a wild imagination.
While Karlene loved the arts, she just did not see herself as talented enough. Until…
“I can” and “I am good enough” were her affirmations as she wrote and published her first children’s book, to help your children handle the issue of self-acceptance and positive thinking. An issue that she knows too well.
Her books are written to spark curiosity and inspire your children as they read the fun and creative stories of how others handled bullying and mixed emotions. Our hope is that after reading, your children will be informed, encouraged and inspired to dream BIG knowing they are more than good enough to be anything they want to be by being themselves.
When not writing, Karlene enjoys motivating and supporting others, watching movies, and quiet times with her family and friends.