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Friday, June 13, 2008



Teaching Kids About Life Through Books


My kids love books. We go to the bookshop most weekends to browse, read and buy books for them. I love it when I get a good bargain in books ie finding a cheap but good book. A cheap book that is printed on cheap paper may be much better than the expensive colourful one printed on glossy paper if the content is good. With books, its much better to look for content rather than appearance.

My kids don't go out much or travel much because we don't but the books provide them with a lot of exposure. It is also easy to explain to them about the things they are going through by reading books. There are books on potty training, overcoming shyness, sharing, bullying in school. These are things that they relate to and when they read a book it helps them to understand the situation better and feel that they are not alone.

For example to overcome my girl's Nighttime Fears, we read a delightful online book called The Monster on Top of the Bed from Lets Be Creative.org. The ebook is also available on CD and hardcopy, you'll have to visit the site for more details.

The book tells the tale of a monster who lives under the bed who believes that the girl sleeping on the bed is a Monster on Top of the Bed. My girl was really amused to think that the monster would think of the little girl in the book as a monster. These kinds of books help to allay the child's fears because it helps them see things from a different perspective and in a way that they would understand. The monster becomes less frightening when she realises that the monster is equally afraid of the little girl as well.

The exposure that my girl gets from her books surprises and amuses me. Sometimes when I ask her where she learned a certain word or where she learned to draw a certain picture, she'd go "Mummy, its from xyz book!" Then she'd run to her bookshelf and pull out that book to show me.

7 comments:

  1. yea.. books can teach them a lot.. especially tales and stories(that they interested in).. and sometimes kids are really cute when they wanted to show you something..

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  2. We visit the book store sometimes several times in a week! Kids said I was not stingy just for books! haha...

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  3. How I envy you! No2 would run around the bookshop each time which always cut short our trip there!

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  4. huifen,
    And books can keep them occupied for long periods of time too. Haha. Its much better than the TV.

    henny,
    Yes, sometimes we visit several times a week too. :P

    magictree,
    Oh, my kids run around the bookshop all the time too. If you see a harrassed woman chasing after two kids and asking them to slow down at the bookshop its probably me. Lol! The only way to get them to stop running is to sit and read with them.

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  5. Aha! Now I know ....but I'm lazy to sit down and read with them when I want to browse for my own books. Maybe next time, I'll allocate time to do that. Thanks.

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  6. a&a'smom5:30 PM, June 15, 2008

    It's gr8 that u have already cultivated the reading habit in them esp while they r still young. We go to the SAlam Public library every 2 weeks with our 12 book supply including 2 books for me (I too started reading so that my boys will follow). Abhijay reads on his own while for Abilash, the slightly difficult ones & BM books I make him read to me every night b4 bedtime ( to ensure that he is pronouncing the words correctly & also he understand the meaning of words). The easy books he will read while sitting on th throne every morning b4 he goes to bed. Since they luv football, I normally get them these books & also mystery types. I dont buy books as I find it a waste since they will only read them once.

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  7. magictree,
    I always have this struggle too of wanting to browse myself vs reading to them so I just follow my mood. If I feel like browsing, I leave them with some books and their dad who is busy reading his comics while I browse. If I am more hardworking, then I just sit and read to them instead. :)

    a&a's mom,
    You are so good. I am too lazy to go to a library. I've bought my girl some Malay story books and we read together and I tell her the story or translate it to English for her. I am hoping that she will get good enough in her Chinese to read some stories as well. The best way to learn a language is through reading story books.

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