Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parent of the Week: Kathleen

I'm thrilled to introduce this week's Parent of the Week, Kathleen. She's a fantastic mom of four (four!) who's written a great, relatable piece on reading to her children. Read it, then go check out her blog!

As always, if you'd like to be a Parent of the Week or would like to nominate someone, email me at deluna.jamie@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!


My name is Kathleen. I have been married to Kip for 17 years. I am mother and teacher to our four children. I entered the world of mothering 12 1/2 years ago. After waiting four years to have a child, we had three in quick succession. After the first was born, we had another fourteen months later. Twenty-two months after that, we had our third baby. This was the day before the oldest turned three. (Yes that means that we had three children aged three and under.)

My life was a preschool world for a long time but now I have a twelve year old son, an eleven year old daughter, a nine year old daughter, and a five year old boy. The fall of 2011 will mark the time when I will no longer have any preschoolers. Sigh.

When Jamie offered to have me guest post, I thought about those days when I was immersed in parenting preschoolers. My favorite time of the day was -- and still is -- reading aloud to my children.

But really, it wasn't always that way. A really good tip came my way and erased the silent groan that came into my heart when my child would say, "Mommy will you read this book to me again?" I hated that groan in my heart. I wanted to read to my child. I thought the problem was how many times I had read that particular book but I soon discovered differently.

A wise woman told me to: Only read a book to your child that you loved to read. Even if it was a child's picture book. What a novel concept!

It did not take much to convince me. I heard it and took action. I went home and cleared our bookshelves of the mediocre books. I gave away all of the ones that made me groan inwardly when they asked me to read to them.

There were few books left.

I read Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown a. lot. I had discovered that it wasn't having a variety of books to read but rather having high quality literature to read that made the no-I-don't-want-to-read-this-book-to-you-but-will-anyway groan go away. I am so thankful that someone gave me that nugget of advice early in my parenting adventure.

The quest for high quality children's literature began then and still continues. I checked out from the library Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook. Soon I bought the book. Not only does he inspire one to read aloud to your children, he includes an extensive reading list. Other books that have reading lists are Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt and Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson.

I love searching for good books for us to read together. My life has been enriched by the many books I have found. I treasure all of the cozy on the couch reading times we have had and hopefully we continue to have for a long time.


Kathleen and Past Parents of the Week: Feel free to grab the Parent of the Week Badge:


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