How is language developed? How do we learn to speak, read, and write the language that we use for communication? From the time we are born (and depending on who you ask, sometimes even before we are born), we all begin to form the basis for what eventually becomes oral and written language. The mother who sings lullabies to her newborn baby is exposing him or her to oral language. A parent who reads bedtime stories to their toddler is modeling reading. The kinder child who sees his parent reading a newspaper, cooking from a recipe, or putting together the elementary child's first bicycle sees their parent using reading to accomplish these things. Hearing the spoken language, seeing reading put into use, experiencing language often and every day lays the groundwork for what will become the basis for reading and language.
When is comes to language development, the more life experience, the better the development. The saying, Practice makes Perfect" is very true. Read, read, read!
Well, I've been thinking about reading a lot lately, and I remembered that a very long time ago, a very dear friend and I did a very crazy project about reading. We did a video project about how reading is all around us, and although it was very rough around the edges, the message was clear - reading is very important! Reading is all around us. Even in this technology driven age, reading is the tool to success!
Reading can be anything - making a grocery list, following a recipe, using a map, reading the newspaper, putting a model together, even reading the Sunday cartoons in the Sunday paper! Whatever the activity, including the kids and involving them in the reading process helps develop the skills they need to succeed.
So I'm working with a fellow librarian last weekend, and we are talking about gmail. I mention that I have an author email, but that I never check it, and my librarian friend says, "Why not?" I explained that I hadn't really advertised the email address, but she convinces me that I should check it. We get on the email, and I had the greatest surprise waiting for me! One of the students at my school had emailed me and said, "Ms. George, I wanted you to know that I bought your book online, and I love it!" I was so excited!!! I saw him at school and thanked him, and I told him that I wondered how he got the email, then like a dummy realized it was because he had written me a note through the web page. Then another student said, "You have a web page?" As I said, I'm really new at this web page thing!
I asked the student who bought the book what he loved about the book, and his response? He loves the faces! Kids love faces, whether its drawing them or making them! The important thing is that through the book, they can get deeper into the feelings behind the faces. What are these feelings, and how can we turn them around? Getting to know the inside as well as the outside makes for a more well-rounded person.
It's a brand new year, and one of my new year resolutions is to begin this blog! I've never done a blog before, so bear with me!
I have been really excited about the response to My Face and Me! Kids really like the faces, and they like to try and figure out what the faces mean. One parent told me that her daughter insists that she read the entire book every night, then talk about the faces at the end of the story. I asked the parent if she ever carries the conversation further. Does she ever ask her daughter if she feels like one of the faces? The parent said, " Oh yes, we have had several conversations about that!"
What a wonderful way to get young children to talk about and express their feelings! I am amazed at how little children know about their feelings and how they have the power to look at things in a different way! I'm so happy that my book is helping parents reach out to their kids and have these conversations!