Friday, March 4, 2011

He Gets It From His Momma -- The Love of Reading

Thanks to the makers of Pine-Sol® for sponsoring my writing. A study shows a clean smelling home can help children succeed, so Pine-Sol® is supporting Reading is Fundamental (RIF) this year. Click "Like" on Pine-Sol®’s Facebook page here and they will donate books to RIF!

On any given day, if you were to listen to a conversation between Aiden and me, you'd hear descriptive words such as, "humongous, hilarious, miniature, amazing," to name a few. And these days, you'd hear 'em coming mostly from Aiden.

Cute, right?

What strikes me the most as I reflect on conversations that I've had with my 3-year-old little man, is that these words are apart of his regular vocabulary. They've become commonplace to him. He has grown to use them on a regular basis.

"I apologize" replaces "I'm sorry."
"Humongous, enormous, gigantic" replaces "big."
"Miniature, teeny tiny" replaces "small." 
"Snooze replaces "sleep." (I think this one is kinda weird, but kinda funny too...).
"Angry, upset" replaces "mad."
"Beautiful" replaces "pretty."

You get the point. I could go on and don't mean to brag, but it amazes me that, at 3-years-old, his vocabulary is broad enough that he can switch things up when he wants to use another word. 

And there's only one way to explain how he learned these new words: Reading. 

And not just reading books, but discussing them too. Why does he look so angry? Look how excited she is! What do you think is going to happen next? What was your favorite part? Why? Why do you think that happened? Is there another way to say that? These are just some of the questions I ask him. 

I have always had a passion for reading. I've written about the before. I've always loved the idea of getting so lost and so caught up in a book -- the storyline, the character's lives, the problems, the solutions, the life lessons. I've always loved the fact that there were so many words ready to change some part of me and help me grow in some way... if I only let it. 

And I always aim to instill my love of literacy in Aiden.

I remember once when I took Aiden along with me to visit my Godmother in her classroom. She was a kindergarten teacher at the time, and the kiddies were thrilled have a baby visitor. Aiden was 16 months at the time, and one of the first things we did was head over to the classroom library, grab a book that was bigger than him, and sat on a chair to "read" it. This delicious Momma couldn't have been prouder. Check him out. Isn't he just too cool for school?!

Despite many of the insecurities I felt as a young mommy, I must have been doing something right. And that "something" began way before Aiden was born. For my baby shower, I remember asking each guest to bring a copy of their favorite children's book in addition to something off of my registry. I wanted to get a head start on building Aiden's library, and hey, books can get expensive.

I was so thrilled by the fabulous books we received! Since then, I've requested books for Aiden's birthday and Christmas gifts. So his library collection keeps on growing. Amaze!

This makes it harder for him to choose just two books to read at bedtime. The kid's even gotten me to extend bedtime by a few minutes just so I can read another book to him. I'm a sucker like that. And he knows it. And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

We read together all. the. time. And not just children's books. Magazines, newspapers, random signs on the subway -- they're all fair game. I love it that I can show him how important reading is by modeling to him that I read just because... Merely for pleasure.

But I love it even more when I see him reading, just because... and merely for pleasure. I love to hear him use the same tone, excitement, and verbalization that I used when I originally read the story to him. I love when he compares something in real life to something in a story we read a few days ago. "Mommy, that's like in my book when [insert appropriate scenario here]." 

Moments like these -- when I catch him reading to his puppy -- warms my heart and lets me feel as though I am succeeding as his Mother.

And moments like these -- when he reads to himself -- makes me oh so proud.

He gets it from his Momma! And you gotta love it. 

What are some things you do at home to help your children achieve?

Don't forget to click over to Pine-Sol®'s Facebook page to support our children's success. I was selected for this Pine-Sol® sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


  1. He is precious and I too love to find my kids reading to themselves or to their animals! My 4 year old "reads" grownup books with no pictures to her classroom of dolls! What a great idea to request books as gifts!

  2. Reading is so important. Their imaginations and vocabulary blossom so early. A love of reading is one awesome gift that we can give to our children. Read on Aiden, read on. Great job for exposing him. It seems like common sense but so many children miss out.

  3. i love that your kid is already a total book-worm, we all are at our house too (i'm a little stingy with the tv time too, which i think contributes)

    would love to hear what some of your fav books are, i'm ready to read some new ones, though my kids always want to hear the same ones over and over!

  4. Aww, I just love the younger photos of your cute little guy! My little one loves reading and can't ever get enough of it! I will admit that I am not a reader simply because it is very boring to me. I think I get this from my parents since they never encouraged me academically and both hated reading as well. I know, so sad. My husband on the other hand is a bookworm! Regardless, my son has lots of books and enjoys learning and I hope that he can be as intelligent as his big sisters!

  5. He is too cute! I love that you said not only do you read the books to him but discuss them too. That is huge! We need more mamas like you! He is going to grow up with a passion for reading and an amazing vocabulary! Good job mommy! Keep it up!

  6. Yes, you have done something right. You are one of the hardest working young mommies that I know!! Aiden has a great role model and I hope that he continues to take after you. Heading off to Facebook now to like Pine-Sol so that they can donate some books.

  7. Love it! I take my son to the library once a week and we pick out books. It's a powerful thing to develop a love for reading at an early age. And I love that he has such an expansive vocabulary, it means so much to be able to describe things in so many ways.

  8. I love this post!! I am a huge fan of consistently reading to Peanut. Every night we read several books. I love that he reads to his puppy - it's so adorable. You are such a wonderful mom for instilling such a love of reading in your little man!

  9. That picture brings back memories! ONE of the things I admire most about you is how you instilled the love of learning in Aiden even before he was born. Amazing! As Aiden's first teacher you are giving him such a strong foundation that will last him a lifetime!

  10. Good job mama! I can't wait to meet him and hear his big vocab! Go Aidan!!

  11. What an awesome thing to pass on to your bright little boy! He is too cool!

  12. I love that picture! And nice job to you on reading and discussing! What a great start you're giving him!


  13. Never apologize for this kind of bragging, Aiden is amazing!! Good Job Mama!! I asked for books at my shower too, everyone wrote something about doing well in school and reading everyday it was great.
    Right now since we're still early, we're working on manners, Please, Thank You, Hi, Bye, May I, and saying grace at meal times. We start now so that it becomes so second nature that there's never a force to be respectful later.

  14. Your little man is so cute! You are doing such a great job with him. It definitely starts from birth. If you teach a child to love reading/books from an early age they will grow up to be so much more well rounded, informed and intellectually advanced. You must be so proud! Congrats.

  15. This is super fantastic!!! I think he and my little girl would get on well..reading books all day! It is SO cute and so fabulous that they're enjoying doing something that will enrich their lives forever. I love getting myself a magazine and one for little miss O and 'reading' together with a cup of chai latte and a biscuit. She LOVES it and so do I. Very interested in your bookcase too... I'm on the look out for a special one for little miss O - that lets you display things from multiple angles like that x.

    Well done Alicia. You're a real credit to your son too!

  16. YES! this is exactly how i want my daughter to be: a lover of reading like her mother. you're clearly doing an excellent job, Alicia. kudos!

  17. Thunderous applause! As a mom, educator and reading coach this post brings my heart immense joy. Aiden reminds of my earlier days with KT. I can never stress enough to any parent (especially single parents) the importance of literacy. My students are always shocked when I share stories about KT and his love of books. I don't buy as many books due to the rate at which we read but we visit our local libraries frequently and swap books with others. A home can never have too many books.

  18. I loved this post! And I'm sooo stealing your idea about the children's books as gifts!!! My daugther is almost 4mos old and I'm introducing sign language to her and we're reading books to her at bed-time. I, too, hope to encourage and instill a love of learning in her starting now.


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