My Why

Hello, hello, hello! I am so excited and honoured to share with you my passion for the importance of reading aloud. When someone asks me what I do, I talk about this, my new online kids’ bookstore, podcast, and blog. But more importantly, the incredible benefits of reading to your children. 

Read Learn Love Podcast

So who am I?

I’m Christine, a gen X mother of 2. My big kid just started kindy, and my little guy will be three years soon. I am American, born in Illinois, lived in Northern and Southern California, but most of my growing up was in New Mexico. Back home in the US, people ask me where I’m from. Here in Australia, people ask me where I’m from. I joke that I have never been more American until I left the country because it has been a topic of conversation, at least 2-3 times a month, for the last 13 years.   

Kids? Meh

I originally came across Australia on a three month holiday and basically never left when I married the guy I came to visit. Before we got married, I told him I never wanted kids. I babysat a lot and worked in daycare throughout high school, so I had a small glimpse of what it was like to be a parent and the insane amount of compromises you have to make to be a good parent, at least in my version of parenting.

So, after being married for over four years, let’s say I was in a wee bit of shock when my hubby pointed to a cute 4-year-old and said, “Can we have one of those?” After the shock and a few “really?” “Are you sure? “really really really?!?” I said, “Sure, why not, but first I want Europe!” We spent 7.5 weeks in Europe and England, so the babies came.

The best-laid plans

So, after being married for over four years, let’s say I was in a wee bit of shock when my hubby pointed to a cute 4-year-old and said, “Can we have one of those?” After the shock and a few “really?” “Are you sure? “really really really?!?” I said, “Sure, why not, but first I want Europe!” We spent 7.5 weeks in Europe and England, so the babies came.

When you’re a “parent-to-be”, you have all these grand ideas of what kind of parent you’re going to be. My child, I was only going to have one at first, would not use a dummy. No co-sharing, anything pink I was going to burn regardless of the gender. And I knew I was going to read to them all the time.

Some of my “must-do” parenting ideas went straight out the window quite quickly; we’ll soon be ditching the dummy, but my desire for reading to my kids has been constant. I love reading the same book a million times. Well, I guess technically, I don’t love reading the same book, but I love sharing stories and creating those life memories.

I told my husband that I would never be a full-time stay-at-home mum from the get-go. It’s just not my thing. However, I did decide that after the first year of motherhood, I wanted to be that mum who could do school drop-offs and volunteer in their classroom and be around more for my kids while they are young. Some of my best memories from my childhood are those of my mom being involved at school. I want that for my boys.

Be my own boss

Last year, in early 2020, I decided to be my boss and work in something that excites me to share. While I’m a huge nerd, and I love numbers and science and my spreadsheets, I only get so much excitement from HR, payroll, accounts payable, receivable, and so on, which are my professional background.

I knew my plan would involve children’s books because I love reading to my kids, and I think every parent should take time to read to their kids, but I knew that we needed to be more than just another online bookstore.

I knew there had to be more to books and reading aloud than just the pleasure we get as parents bonding with our kids.

And holy moly, did I find the motherlode when I stumbled upon the science, the information, the how-tos and don’t the dos and incredibleness of reading aloud.

Read aloud books are magic

In Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook, initially published in 1979, he highlights how reading aloud is the best “return on investment” we can make for our children. Jim discusses a 25-year study with “experts saying that reading aloud was more important than worksheets, homework, book reports, and flashcards. One of the cheapest, simplest, and oldest tools of teaching was being promoted as a better tool than anything else in the home or classroom.”

Reading aloud has proven results of improving test scores more than one-on-one tutoring, study cram sessions, or any other form of studying currently known to man. My brain just went into information overload. How can reading aloud be this powerful and beneficial to both my kids and me and I HAD NO IDEA!

I thought you read to your kids until they can read for themselves. Reading aloud was just a bonding experience and helped them learn to read. Once they could read, my part in the whole process was over. Good parenting box checked! Reading aloud makes you a parenting superhero.

Oh, boy, was I wrong! Why isn’t this information printed on every pregnancy test? If positive, start reading books aloud NOW! No, seriously pick up a story book, now. So after just scratching the surface of this topic and sharing the information, I found out that not many people know the real “whys” behind reading to their children. Or the full benefits far beyond reading comprehension or new words. Or that you should be reading to your kids until they move out.

When I mention this to people now, they look at me a bit crazy, as I’m sure you probably are right now. But I promise you, once you learn what I have to share, you’ll think you were crazy for not starting it sooner!

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