When I was 10 years old, I was hospitalized for a major operation. The time in the hospital was a big “delay” in my young social life. Aside from being in pain, I was also bored. My mom and other relatives would take turns in looking after me, but they offered little entertainment to a young child like me. Hehe 😛
One day, one of my uncles, Tito JR, gave me a book that would start my love affair with books. It was a hardbound Nancy Drew book entitled, The Haunted Showboat. I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading and I looked forward to the time that my Mom and my visitors would start a conversation. I would immediately be quiet, open the book and escape to another world and be a smart, young sleuth like Nancy Drew.
A few weeks after being discharged from the hospital, I was allowed to go back to school. The first building I visited during recess was the library. I looked for the other Nancy Drew books. I was thankful the school bought the whole set so I was able to read all of them.
In high school, I eventually turned to young adult fiction and of course, novels and the rest, as they say, is history. Reading helped me learned the uniqueness of language, widened my vocabulary and instilled the importance of critical thinking.
Now that I have a daughter, I would like to help her find her voice, have the love for language and master the art of speaking. We’ve started doing that when we introduced to her the Baby Signs® Program. We’d also like her to learn the joy of discovering things through reading that is why as early as 6 months old, Greg and I have exposed her to board books and picture books that are appropriate for her age. At 2.8 years old, she’s very much involved with the stories we tell her and she speaks clearly enough to ask questions to clarify or even emphasize what she just learned. Once in a while when we don’t immediately get what she needs or what she’s saying, she uses signs to help us understand what she means.
As we continue our journey, Greg and I hope to also provide her a venue to discover a world that would instill creativity, love for language and critical thinking. I am positive we can do this through instilling the love for books and reading. As Dr. Linda Acredolo and Dr. Susan Goodwyn mentioned in their book Baby Minds: Brain Building Games Your Baby Will Love, “Language is also for reading, writing, thinking and creating. When you open the door to language for your child, you’re really opening the door to the world.”