Rather than doing a review for today’s post, I wanted just to take the time to reflect on the opportunity that storytime provides us to better understand our children.
I find that we often underestimate our children’s capabilities.
We have a preconceived notion of what children can do and at what age they should be doing it. We sometimes also become dismissive of our children’s want/need to participate in conversation. It is for this reason that we are “surprised” by what our children do and say.
We are taken aback because we often don’t give them enough credit for their ability to listen, interpret and analyse – they are just children after all….
This is not to say that we should be treating children as adults; rather just taking a step back and being more aware to how in tune our children really are. They are often more creative and open to ideas than adults, who get stuck into a particular view on the world.
Once we are able to do this, we can challenge (not push) and grow our children’s learning capacity. We can trust in their ability to problem solve with some compassionate guidance.
Storytime offers a perfect opportunity to test the waters:
- Read a story that you think may be a bit “old” for your child and ask questions about what they understand from the story. Keep doing this from time to time – children learn and grow quickly! Even if they don’t quite understand the story at first, take the time to explain and discuss.
- Let your child pick their own story – don’t belittle their choice or steer them to something else that you think is appropriate. Chances are that they picked a book because it interests them. If they lose interest in it, they will tell you. Be guided by your child’s interest and try to foster it.
- Always try to take the time to “debrief” after a story. This aids the comprehension process.