Sunday mornings are special at our house. I get up with the kids while the hubster sleeps in, which means sleeping until about eight instead of seven. We have banana pancakes with real maple syrup for breakfast, and William tells us all about how maple syrup is made from his new favorite book Tyler Makes Pancakes, or sometimes homemade strawberry or blueberry syrup. And we always have bacon on Sunday mornings, and orange juice. Sometimes we throw in eggs sunny side up. It is so divergent from the typical oatmeal we eat every other morning, that Sunday mornings are special.
But…not just because of breakfast. Also because Sunday is the only day of the week we get the newspaper, and that is something the kids look forward to after their special breakfast. William and Corinne follow their dad out to the newspaper box to retrieve what William fondly calls “the Newsies,” a name he came up with on his own. William loves finding the comics and reading them with his dad.
I consider this valuable reading for my preschooler because the humor is difficult and requires William to infer…or listen to his dad infer while explaining the pictures to William. Reading the comics is an excellent way to involve young children in reading. His dad asks basic questions that requires William to “read” the pictures, and then explains what is actually happening. William has to make connections and compare what he is reading to his own life knowledge. These are all behaviors that active readers exhibit, and they are all behaviors that are taught formally in school. Now, William’s big joke is to name our future dog Garfield.
There are opportunities everywhere to read with your children, and some of them may be surprising. While reading grocery ads, William helps me make our shopping list, making suggestions of what produce to buy. He loves reading sports or hardware ads, mentioning which tents or drills look nice. Knowing that we are looking to buy a larger car, William points out SUVs and minivans in ads, too, and he s always on the look out for “flashy” shoes for me, which are bright colored athletic shoes, saying, “Mom. Maybe you get these shoes. They are flashy shoes.” Reading the backs of cereal and cracker boxes are another great place for fun reading with your child. William loves reading familiar boxes while we grocery shop, and sometimes he’ll carry the box of graham crackers over to his sister and say, “See Corinne. This says graham cracker.” Text is everywhere, and kids are aware of it. So, make to most of those unexpected reading opportunities, such as reading the Sunday comics.