When Caleigh was cookin’ in my belly, I inhaled parenting information. I read every article, book, blog, and pamphlet I could find. In doing this research, I came across a statistic that said children should read 1,000 before kindergarten. In doing a quick Google search, I found an organization dedicated to this: https://1000booksbeforekindergarten.org/
The goal of 1,000 is exposing our babes to vocabulary of multi-levels, hearing repeat sounds, letter recognition, and making learning to read easier overall. As an English teacher and lover of lit myself, I was easily on board with this idea. AND the fact that this was a quantifiable goal made it even more enticing. Being the list-loving type of person I am, I created a Google Sheet that logs books & authors. When Caleigh is headed into the world of public education, she will have at least 1,000 under her belt.
Caleigh learned to love the library early on. I would love nothing more than to buy her every book available, but
storage money would be tight. Realistically, we will trade, donate, sell, or destroy most of the books in our collection, except for those she (or I) cherishes. The library is the perfect solution – we check books out, read and re-read, and return while never getting tired of the story. I started logging books I wanted to read with Caleigh based on season, holiday, or skill we were learning on a Pinterest board:
Aside from the library, our number one source for new reads, we do buy books when we can. It’s something I never feel guilty purchasing. We tend to collect books in series. Some of our ongoing favorites are:
- Duck and Goose written by Tad Hills
- The Pigeon series written by Mo Willems
- Where is Baby’s…? written by Karen Katz
- ALL of the Babylit books
AND Y’ALL, WE’VE DISCOVERED A NEW LOVE!
I only wish we found these sooner! Baby Einstein isn’t something we have much exposure with, except for one toy that sang classical music to Caleigh when she was just a bay nugget; however, these books are educational and have great images. I thought they would be too young for Caleigh, but I was wrong. We chose:
- What I Like – pretty self explanatory, what baby likes to do, see, eat
- Hello, Bard! – a multilingual text using simple words
- Little Poems – REAL poetry with dual images
- Sensing Nature – provides a look at what the outdoors holds
- See Me Sign – introductory American sign language with photos
Of these five, my favorites are Hello, Bard! and Little Poems. Caleigh is three, so she is able to repeat words and answer my questions during reading. Hello, Bard! includes simple words (hello, goodbye, goodnight, etc.) in multiple languages WITH phonetic pronunciation. I love this and we can re-read frequently because there is so much to remember. Little Poems showcases real poems (think Christina Rossetti!) with illustrated images parallel a photograph. Reading poetry makes my heart happy, so re-reading is a pleasure. I also love exposing Caleigh to advanced material that feels a little more accessible. See Me Sign is an American Sign Language intro book that serves as a fantastic review for us. We’ve been practicing ASL since Cal was three months old. This was a HUGE help when she couldn’t verbalize, but needed something from us.
So, if you’re interested in 1,000 before kindergarten and adding books to your collection at an amazing price, please subscribe! I have a goody to send your way! (Or subscribe because you love your pal, Chels)