This week I am spending four amazing days soaking up the best of the best when it comes to the latest in early childhood development at the Parents As Teachers 25th National Conference. Yep, it’s all happening this week in my hometown of St. Louis (how lucky can a girl GET?!?!) and My Mommy Manual is there with Media Passes to cover the full event. You can expect a number of posts in the days and weeks to come inspired by the darn-knowledgeable, topical and FUN presenters we’re seeing.
How are Practical Mommy and I enjoying the conference thus far? Just think “kid in a candy store” and you’ve got the idea. Yesterday at a workshop entitled “Read With Me” I was reminded of the importance of reading with kids. I know you hear a lot about this topic from doctors, magazines, etc… but let me tell you about the message I got from this session that had a refreshing twist! Learn more in this one minute video and/or by reading on!
I loved that the presenter, reading readiness expert Julianne Martyn and her program, Raising a Reader, focused on the importance of pre-reading activities, many of which have little to do with what we typically think of as “reading” to our kids. She talked about options outside from just sitting and read a book cover to cover. Some of these ideas included: telling stories about our day, making up stories with our kids help, looking at picture book, asking questions, listening, and most importantly, sharing cuddle time over a story and going at our child’s pace (even if it means skipping around the pages or going backwards!@!!) And in the long run, though it doesn’t feel like “reading” to our kids this way might raise a reader… that is EXACTLY what this special time together does. Even when our kids are old enough to be reading on their own, they STILL benefit from adults reading with and to them. A good thing for me to remember with a 9 year old daughter in the house that loves reading and is very self motivated in that area. It’s STILL important for my husband and I to read to and with her…
“Book Cuddling”. Join me this week and let’s cuddle up with the ones we love and enjoy a story or a book together. And if we’ve not already done so, let’s make it a ritual. Whether our kids are 5 days or 15 years old, they are never too old for some special “Book Cuddling” time.
Tell me about reading in your home. Do your kids love it? Not? What are their ages and what are some things you’ve done over the years to make reading fun?
Published in partnership with Due Maternity. This week Zen Mommy is especially grateful for the fashionable and comfortable clothes she wore from Due to full days of seminars. To be almost 7 months pregnant with twins and sit all day, your clothes HAVE to be comfy. Today she wore this cute black maternity dress over Serafontaine jeans with black boots and man did she feel sassy! xoxo
Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and expecting twins in Jan of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Educator of Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers life coaching as Zen Mommy Coach and is the co-creator of the Yogi Parenting approach to positive parenting.