”A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.” ~Lemony Snicket
Talking does not always have to be “free style” or just conversation. One amazing way I have “talked” to my kids through the years was through a daily story time.
For twenty-five years, “more often than not,” I had a one to three hour story time with my kids who were story time age—and it was an amazing way to tie heart strings and “talk.”
When I had several small children, we would get the babies to sleep then cuddle in Mommy’s bed and read for one to two hours, then drift off for afternoon naps (including Mom!). It was blissful.
My first reaction to that is “How did I ever find time for that nearly every weekday afternoon?” And my answer is that I found the time because it was a priority to me.
We find the time for everything that is truly important to us. (And I found the time for the nap because it was essential during the fourteen out of seventeen years that I was nursing and/or pregnant!) I stayed home most days and just invested in my kids and home—and I don’t regret it at all!
Obviously, story time does not have to be just before naps. However, just like anything else we want to do, if it is important enough to us, we will put it somewhere in our schedule where it will for sure get done.
For us, this meant attaching whatever we wanted to add to our schedules to something that was already in our schedule. (Another Gregg Harris tip from long ago!) For me, this meant attaching story time to just after lunch—right before naps. There in that spot for twentyf-five years it got done “more often than not.”
Reading aloud from picture books, Bible story books, chapter books, and nature books gave my children a huge background of experience to bring to their other subjects and learning.
And it was also a major springboard for two other things I highly recommend: (1) Discussion and (2) Little tidbits that become your family’s own special things.
For example, to this day, my older kids know exactly which book I am talking about when I say, “I knew there was another one” (Mouse House). They know exactly which story I’m referring to when I say, “Kara, Kara, Kara…your name is Kara, isn’t it?”
These things are ours. They belong to the Reish family. They might seem small to other people, but to us, they make us, us.