The Importance of a Well-Rounded (Literary) Diet in the Life of a Child
Imagine feeding a child nothing but fruits and vegetables from the time they started baby food until second or third grade.
What do you suppose they’d do once you finally introduced meat?
Spit it out, right?
Kids tend to do the same thing when fed a steady literary diet of fictional picture books. They may be easily entertained by the stacks of brightly colored volumes lining their bookshelves, but the minute you pull out a science or other non-fiction book, their eyes roll back in their head and suddenly reading or even being read to becomes a chore.
The one mistake I made with my older kids in regards to literature was I waited too long to introduce non-fiction.
Starting at around 6 months of age, or if you’ve already missed that stage, as soon as possible, throw a few pages of a science encyclopedia into your Vitamix, add a little ice and blend until frothy.
Just kidding – I’ve got Vitamix on the brain.
So, when should we introduce non-fiction literature to our children?
The best time to introduce non-fiction to your kiddos is at the same time you introduce fiction. The day you read Good Night Moon to your child for the first time should be the same day you read them a simple non-fiction book about the moon.
If you have older kids in the mix (age 5 and older), ask them after reading both books, “Which book really happened?” Which book was just pretend? Introduce the terms “fact” and “fiction.”
Just like literature is a great foundation for language, it is also a great foundation for history, science, the arts, religion and social studies.
Tune in tomorrow for tips on introducing non-fiction literature to older children.