This post is part of a series on organizing your physical space to encourage literacy.
And this photo captures her trepidation perfectly. She's willing, but unsure.
It's also a perfect prompt for me to tell the story of Liliana and Noodles' budding friendship. How she enjoyed bringing him to puppy playtime, how she taught him how to sit, how he was nervous on his first subway ride and how he peed in his carrier in my lap which made me look like I peed in my own pants - and how she bellowed in laughter and asked incredulously, "Mommy, did you have an accident?!"
I will print this photo (and others from the shoot) and put them on our walls. It won't live on my phone, in my email or on my desktop.
This awesome photo and story will live on my wall.
We all want our kids to read. And, we want our kids to understand what they're reading.
And! The real kicker - we want them to enjoy reading.
This seems obvious, but sometimes getting there is not obvious and it takes some quirky roundabout turns to get there. Enter, printed photos on your walls.
Motivation and feeling successful are integral to a child's desire to read. Photos are a part of that. Specifically, printing them and putting them on your walls.
Building on the work of child psychologists from the 1970s, it is common practice to use printed photos to build a child's self-esteem. When children have a positive self-image, they are willing to trust the world a little, explore and learn. Inevitably, they will learn to read and then read to learn.
"There is something very powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print,” says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages five through 13. He goes on.
Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it.
Tell your kids about your favorite memories, your life experiences, your stories. When you do, you will be writing out loud for them. Showing them how to put together a good story, a bad story, one that someone wants to listen to. You'll be showing them how to use the picture to start a story or how a picture better explains a story. You will build their self-esteem and their confidence.
You will also be storytelling them your life. And their very important place in your life.
P.S. I will also share some of my favorite, easy and creative ways to put photos on your walls in the next few days.