Saturday, 14 July 2012

Letter from a parent of a 2 year old

Dear Michael,

I follow your twitter feed with interest and wanted to share some
observations I've made about my son who is almost 2 years old. I've
taken him to the library since he was born and me and my husband have
read him stories since before he was born (yes we're those parents !).
He's been going to 'rhyme time' since he was tiny and can now sing
along and do all the actions. He had a library membership card when he
was a few months old and goes to the library with my husband twice a
week and takes out 12 books (the maximum allowed) every week. He loves
looking at books and when will happily flick through a book even the
ones on the big bookshelves that contain our books as he knows all
books are exciting even if they don't have pictures.

Since Rhyme Rocket has been on CBeebies he loves that too - it is his
current favourite programme when he is allowed to watch after lunch.
He seems to have picked up on rhyming through songs and poetry and I
often hear him practice words and he repeats every new word he hears.
Nothing that we have done with him is exceptional or difficult, but I
am astounded at how much he is able to learn and take in at such a
young age. His loves of books and going to the library comes from my
own love of going to the library with my Mum as a child. My mother in
law tells me that my husband was able to read well before he started
school even though she can't recall ever teaching him. Self
deprecation aside I'm sure a love of books played a big part in his
early abilities.

I'm not saying any of this to show off, but to reiterate the pretty
obvious which is that libraries do matter. We are lucky that we can
afford to buy books and my son has a lot of them, but at the rate that
he consumes books the library is invaluable to us. It is a real shame
that councils do not see the value in libraries or children's centres
and I already have concerns about how my son's education will fare
when he goes to school.

Thank you for all your work with children and parents and schools - at
the risk of making you feel old I've loved your poetry since I was a
child and am delighted to be able to share it with my own son now.

best wishes,