From the time we had the first of our five children, some of our most special moments were snuggling up to read books together. And some of those stories became like familiar old friends as we read them over and over until the kids could probably recite them by heart.
We found so many gifts in reading together with our kids – the quality time, our children’s enjoyment of language and artwork, and many sweet life lessons contained in the stories.
We found a kindred spirit in a love of reading in our guest, Valerie Ellis. She is an author, speaker, certified teacher, and mom. Valerie knows the power of a story to connect children to their families and to the love of God. We are excited to hear about her latest children’s book and how through this story we can help our kids to share the joy of Christmas this year.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- How God created us to learn through stories
- Tips to engage all ages in reading
- Ways to connect reading to our faith
- And more!
We hope you enjoy this conversation!
- [BOOK] Share the Joy! A Christmas Lift-the-Flap Book
- [BOOK] Barnyard Dance!
- Our Everyday Parables
- Connect with Valerie on Instagram, Facebook, or her website
1) Engage your children in the story. Talk about the story after reading it. You can engage your children further by asking them questions, pointing out things in the pictures as you read the story, and even having them help you read it. Be sure to ask your children what their favorite part was and for older kids engage them by asking, “Where did you see God in this story?”
2) Learn what works for your child. Some children will prefer fictional stories, others will gravitate toward stories from the Bible, and others may even enjoy rhymes. There is no “right” way to have storytime with your children. They will tend to gravitate toward certain stories in different seasons of life. Don’t get stuck on a certain structure if it isn’t working for your child. You might need to change things up and utilize audiobooks, shorter stories for children with a short attention span, or create a special reading place to create a cozy atmosphere that captures your child’s attention.
3) Put what you read into action. We have a great opportunity to bring our faith and principles we read about in books to life for our children. Valerie’s book is a great tool to do this! But you can also practice principles of hospitality by giving treats to your neighbors, or practice helping those in need by stocking your car with food to hand out to the homeless, or you might decide to thank your first responders. Get creative with it and even bring your kids in on the planning process!
Meet Our Guest
Valerie Ellis is an author, speaker, certified teacher, and mom. She is passionate about helping kids and parents connect with God and each other in everyday moments. Valerie lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Josh, and their two boys. In her spare time, she enjoys live music, eating on the patio, and fresh cilantro.