I have read to my daughter every night since she was born, not only because I enjoy the bonding time and routine but also because I know it ultimately helps her to build language and vocabulary and hopefully a love for reading in the future.
Another reason I enjoy read-alouds is because I want to make it a natural part of our lifestyle as a family. We occasionally read at meal times to each other (hubby and I for our girl) and we maintain a Morning Basket to refer to at anytime of the day. Again this practice instills a love of reading, sense of adventure, a broad imagination as well as a hunger for knowledge.
Building a Library - I initially started out with nursery rhymes, then to fairy tales & short stories and now we read full on chapter books. My idea is that I sort of prescreen these books and throughout the years I will reread these books until she is able to read them on her own. When she is older she will have a wonderful library of different genres of books. However, I don't always purchase these books, some are from the library and I keep a record of titles for future reference. This is so we do not end up drowning in books over time.
A chapter a night - Depending on my daughters mood, I will aim for a full chapter, but there are nights where I just get through 2 or 3 pages, we have even read up to two chapters at times. Also, when Mommy is really into a book (LOL) we will read a chapter before nap time. Honestly, reading chapter books keeps things super interesting for me. Another reason why I love reading chapter books starting at such a young age (we started when she was around 9 months) is because there are minimal pictures. At bedtime pictures can be a distraction and at this point it is all about being soothed by my voice to help her fall asleep at night. We focus on picture books throughout the day, instead.
Goal - Last year we read a ton of books from our local library and our private collection. We read constantly throughout the day (but some days only at bed time). Below are our bedtime (only) read alouds that we completed in *2018:
1. Peter Rabbit: The Complete Tales
2. Frog and Toad: Storybook Treasury
4. Berenstain Bears: Big Book of Stories
3. The Magic Misfits - Book 1
4. The Magic Misfits - Book 2
5. When Santa Fell to Earth
* In between books we would always refer to various anthologies of fairy tales, poetry and short stories.
For 2019, I have a goal to read 10 chapter books to my daughter. First up - The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for all the books we will read throughout the year, in addition to library hauls and our monthly themes.