Nancy I. Sanders is an award-winning author of more than 100 books for children. She is also the creator of the elementary WriteShop writing curricula. I asked about her thoughts on writing as it relates to reading aloud.
Q: Parents have long been encouraged to start reading to their children at a very young age to foster a love for reading. In your experience, have you found that reading to young children helps them with writing, too?
A: Definitely. The more we read to our children, the more intuitive writing becomes for them. Not only does it build a love for language in general, but hearing the rhythm of the words read aloud helps train a child’s brain to respond with similar rhythms when putting pencil to paper.
Another benefit is that we can read books aloud to our children that are far too advanced with vocabulary or story content than they could tackle on their own. Reading aloud to children helps stretch their imagination beyond their own natural understanding, helps they grow wiser beyond their normal abilities, and helps them explore the world in ways they couldn’t achieve by reading a book all by themselves.
I think this really influences them in positive ways as young writers. My husband and I started reading board books to our two sons when they were babies. We continued to read aloud to them until they were in high school and after that we listed to audio Books-on-Tape together. The older they got the more advanced books we enjoyed!
Nursery rhymes are a great example of books you can read to even the youngest child. One of my newest books just came out, A Pirate’s Mother Goose, and is a delightful pirate-y spin on favorite nursery rhymes.
You can find free coloring pages, fun activities, and a free educator’s guide to bring this picture book into your homeschooling curriculum.
Q: Of all the books you have written, which project or projects stand out as some of your favorites?
By this stage of my career, I have so many personal favorites. I have truly been blessed with seeing many of my writing dreams come true through the books that have been published. But one of my all-time favorites is the series of mine that came out last year with Zonderkidz. It’s a set of four nonfiction books on people in the Bible in the GET TO KNOW SERIES: Jesus, Mary, Apostle Paul, and King David. In this series I got to show elementary kids how our Christian faith is based on fact and how the Bible is a true historical document that is supported by many, many archaeological finds.
Check out the fun puzzles, cool crafts, awesome activities, and a free educator’s guide for this series.
The second project that is a personal favorite of mine includes the two books I’ve written to help adults learn how to write and get their children’s books published. I’ve heard from so many writers how the information in these books has helped them gain confidence and start to experience the success they’ve longed for. I also get invited to teach at writing conferences in different states based on these books.
Photo by: WriteShop