Reading books with your child can be one of the most wonderful ways to bond and connect with them as you nestle together on the couch and allow the pages of a great story to come alive. It is absolutely one of my favorite things to do with our children and it is my hope that our children will fondly remember these times together and that it will translate into a lifelong love of reading for them.
Picking out books we are going to read together is enjoyable for the children (and for me too), so we go the library about once a week to choose a bunch of books to check out. Bags full, we usually make it out of there with no less than 20 books.
When our library told us about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program a few months ago I immediately said yes and signed the girls up. Since we read lots of books together anyways, I figured that we can reach the 1,000 book goal within the next year and a half with no problem.
Plus, this is a great way for me to be even more intentional about reading to them and it will be fun to track the books we are reading. I’m planning to keep the tracking sheets as a keepsake for the girls and someday they can look back at all the titles of the books we read. It might trigger memories for them and they can, in turn, read some of their favorite childhood books to their own children.
Since Snootz is already in Kindergarten (just graduating), he can’t participate but I had put a read aloud plan in place at the beginning of the school year. Even though we haven’t followed the plan exactly we are still reading together on an almost daily basis.
Reading 1,000 books to your child may sound intimidating at first, especially if you are stretched for time. But we’ve been in the program for only a few months and have already read 250 books. Since we are reading picture books, many of them are a quick read and I mainly just read to our girls during lunchtime and before bed.
The tracking sheets are simple to complete since you only need to write down the title of the book; the name of the author doesn’t need to be included. There is also a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten iPhone app that you can download for even easier tracking, though I have not tried using it yet.
You can track books that other people read to your child and duplicates are okay too. So if you have a child that likes to hear the same story every day you can write that title down each time you read it to them.
There is a recommended books list on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten website and there are some great suggestions on it. Even though we’ve previously read some of the titles on the list, I decided to start fresh and only check them off once we read them again. Since we need to read 1,000 books anyways it can’t hurt to reread these wonderful books.
If the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program is something you would like to consider, you can check to see if your local library is offering it by clicking here.
If your local library is not offering the program or if you decide you don’t want to participate, you could print off the recommended books list and make it a goal to read each of those books to your child. Either way it will be valuable time together with your child as they grow a love for reading. Enjoy this precious time with them!