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How to Cope Life's Learning 780
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Daddy, can we read?

Daddy, can we read?

There are evenings when my mind and body feel fried. There are days when I fall asleep mid-sentence at the dinner table or in a soft seat in the living room. But when that little voice, which gets bigger and more sophisticated by the hour, raises up to ask if we can read, I almost always find that there is extra energy and focus that’s been squirreled away for the purpose.

What is it about sharing a story that makes the rest of the world melt away for a while?

Few side-effects

Hermoine Granger and Harry Potter, Beezus and Ramona, Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, and Frog and Toad have all made us feel that a strong pair of curious souls can learn and explore a lot with—and from—one another. Our younger daughter often hangs around the goal and repeats the best words of the moment. Our older daughter sits listening intently to one of us as we repeat descriptions of Narnia, the Island of the Blue Dolphins, or Diagon Alley.

I haven’t figured out exactly what it is about reading aloud that generates the greatest benefits for us. But I’m not inclined to overthink it, since it feels so nice and appears to have few side-effects other than perhaps a few lost moments of weekday sleep.

I’ll share more about what we’re reading and how we’re benefiting when I know. And we’d love if you’d share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments. Off to read with the little ones.

Speak to you soon.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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  1. I was just having these same thoughts when reading to my 17-month old last night. We read, “Kiss Goodnight” by Amy Hest 4x. I can’t wait to begin introducing her to Hermonine Granger’s world (but I know that its still a few years away)!

  2. It’s so cute to see the little ones get into reading. Our 1 year old is just starting to get into it – just seeing the pictures and sounds in some Eric Carle books, but it’s fun to think of her developing into a reader.

  3. Funny that this should be your topic of choice right now. Keith and I were just talking this weekend about reading with our little/big one! :o) I’m completely with you in that as tired as I may be… somehow there is always something left to read with K. Gone are the days though when it was just me reading to her. Its amazing how these kiddos grow so fast! Often I am read aloud to now, which is an amazing treat. I completely forgot about Island of the Blue Dolphins… we’ll definitely have to read that soon!

    1. Hey there Jill,

      In my case I suspect the extra energy comes from knowing how much I enjoyed the tradition of reading aloud – or being read to – as a little one.

      Our oldest has acquired my kindle for her own use. It is spooky to watch her become a self-directed reader. Nice but spooky. It is reassuring, however, that each night she come to us for reading aloud.

      We really enjoyed Island of the Blue Dolphins. It is not without its scary parts but the strong central character was very appealing. We’re spending a lot of time with Hermoine Granger these days – though to be fair we are also reading ‘A Year in Provence’ (just because it was around one afternoon). I hope you all are enjoying a snug week away from the snow. See you soon.

      – Cope

      1. Hey Cope! (I always feel as though that needs an “!” after it! haha)

        I actually was witness to your oldest using the kindle. Totally caught me off guard but was fantastic (& somewhat “spooky”) to watch. It has encouraged me to put a few books on our kindle for Miss K to read! :o)

        We haven’t yet begun to explore the world of Hermione Granger…but I’m sure the time is coming. I, in fact, have never read those books so it will be a super experience for both of us. — Currently K is reading through all of her “little kid” books one more time before we start clearing them off of the book shelves! :o) It is so amazing to see her re-read them with such inflection in her voice! They’re getting SO BIG!

        Looks like snow is coming again… Guess that means more time for reading, eh?

        See you soon,