My husband is a great storyteller. Probably because he’s a detail guy. I’m more of a “big picture” girl. When I tell a story, I have to work really hard and force myself to share the important little details. I much prefer to give the highlights of a story, focusing on the main ideas and theme. My husband on the other hand, loves to dig in and describe each part of a story. This occasionally drives me nuts, but our boys LOVE it! He will spend a r-e-a-l-l-y long time telling the story of the Three Little Pigs, and then he’ll tell it over (and over) again the same way, complete with funny voices and pigs named after our three little boys. He tells perfect spooky stories. The boys hang on every word and jump when he gets to the good parts. He also retells some of the stories he’s read, for example, right now, he’s re-reading The Hobbit and giving the older boys a recap after each chapter. I’m sure he’ll eventually read it aloud to them, but for now Dad’s version is completely acceptable.
My husband also rocks in the comic book reading department. He reads them like they’re supposed to be read. I just can’t. As hard as I try, I don’t make the right sound effects, I often read the little boxes and bubbles out of order and I just don’t love them as much as everyone else in my house. My husband is a pro, and because of this, my boys have discovered a whole new favorite genre. They now choose graphic novels over pretty much all else, and for that, I totally credit my husband and his goofy sound effects and voices.
Other ways my boys bond over literacy activities…
- Drawing together: My hubby is good at drawing and my boys love to learn little illustrating tips from time to time.
- Watching commercials: Yep, that counts. Why? Because it’s critical thinking. They talk about what they see and what they think. Will Gatoraide or Five Hour Energy really make us strong and healthy? Uh, probably not.
- He can do awesome bubble letters: He often leaves a little note with the kids’ names in bubble letters when he goes to work in the morning. Our three year old especially loves to find his name and color in the letters.
- Reading directions: Again, the detail thing. From Lego-style picture directions to rules for games, my husband has the patience and the detail-oriented mind to teach my boys that important reading skill.
I’ll gladly let my husband take charge of commercial policing, direction following, comic reading and storytelling forever! Our boys love it and it helps them become readers and writers.
At your house, do you have literacy “jobs” that are mainly just for Dad?