I have a confession to make. I am the director of a literacy organization, but I don’t read my own child bedtime stories. Like many other parents of young children, once it’s my toddler’s pajama time I’m ready for bed too. At the end of the day I don’t often have the energy to read books using funny voices or sing the alphabet at the end of Chica Chica Boom Boom.
That’s why I do breakfast stories. Every morning after we eat, my daughter and I sit on the couch in our pajamas and begin our morning routine — she picks out board books and I read them. Before daycare, naps, and baths, before emails and meetings, we read together when I can sing her silly songs and find all the surprises hidden in her lift-the-flap books. It’s what works for us.
This Family Literacy Month, I want families to know that reading doesn’t have to be on anyone’s schedule but your own. If reading at night works for you, that’s great. But don’t be afraid to turn bedtime stories on their heads. Every family is different, and the best time for you to enjoy books with your children may not necessarily be at the end of the day. Reading routines can be creative, like sharing stories on the bus or train. Any time can be your family’s story time.
Tell us: When does your family read together?