I Know Because I Read It

Carissa: What do you call a sleeping cow?
Me: Sapi ngantuk
Carissa: Wrong! It’s called bulldozer! Bull … dozer…. Get it?
Me: Ih, garing banget sih kak? Tau dari mana lagi?
Carissa: I know it because I read it! See?

Iggy: Mami, do you know what is the biggest dinosaurs?
Me: I think all dinosaur are big (mamak yg nyebelin memang :D)
Iggy: yessss, but it is the biggest!
Me: (asal jawab)
Iggy: Wrooooonggg! It’s giganotosaurus, see? It’s said on my book. Giganotosaurus was the biggest dinosaur!

What do you give your children as gifts? I give them books. As birthday gift, as Christmas gift, as “oleh-oleh”, as good marks gift, as entertainment when they’re sick, as souvenir on our visit to Borobudur or just because simply I found a book that I think they’ll enjoy. Yes, I gave them toys also, but books are the most common things I gave them.

The books they own are not limited to story books, but also non-fiction books. They have Disney story books along with dinosaurs or space-related books. Do they read it? Yes, they enjoy exploring all of those books.

There so many advantages that your children can gain from their reading habit, such as:

  1. By reading, they think more and become smarter.
  2. Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.
  3. Improve their vocabulary. Do your children have to speak bilingual? Do you have difficulty to teach them the second or third language since you barely speak the language? I do. So when they still struggling learn English, I gave them English books. Now, since they can talk and read English quite well and I don’t want they forget their own language, I give them Indonesian books.
  4. Improve their concentration and focus. Books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.
  5. Improve their memory. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.
  6. Improve their discipline. In my cases, since my children love to read, reading is a sweet treat for them. I can easily ask them choruses and let them read afterwards.
  7. Learn anywhere. Books are portable. The children can take them almost anywhere. For you who have met my Carissa, will know that she even bring her Harry Potter book to FD Gathering :D
  8. Improve creativity. By reading more books and exposing your children to new and more complete information, they will also be able to come up with more creative ideas.

How can you start their reading habit? You can start by reading picture books to your child every night. Trace the text with your finger, which will help your child learn that text flows from right to left. If you’re reading books with repetitive texts, encourage your child to read along with you.

Some ideas that help you to get started:

  • Choose several topics. Believe me, you don’t have to choose super heroes for boys and Princess for girls. My boy read Cinderella and my daughter read Benten. Also keep it balance between fiction and non-fiction. They always enjoy learning facts.
  • Budget. Some books will be more expensive than the others. So choose wisely. Or even, as a DIY project, you and your children can create a book together. Just explore the topics on internet, print in colors, bind them. There… you have your book!
  • Do it together. Do as ritual that you and your children will sit together with a book on everybody’s hands. Please note, your children should be relaxed when starting to read. Usually my children have their books after school or after diner. They wash their body first then relaxing with a book.
  • Take turns. If your children can read, take turn with them. They can improve their reading ability very fast by reading to you and their siblings.
  • If your kids learn Bahasa Indonesia along with English, better start learning to read in Bahasa Indonesia. When they can read longer words such as “mempertanggungjawabkan”, they’re ready to read in English.

Happy reading mom :)

This story is sent by Mamita. Thank you!


14 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. bulldozer! wakakak…asli ngakak abis gw bacanya!
    anyway..mamita, ini gw banget.
    i love..love..love..love to read anything since i can relate one letter to another.
    dulu, gw sampai merelakan uang saku untuk berlangganan bobo & donal bebek sendiri.
    dan bahkan, koran bokap gw pasti udah lecek duluan sama gw sebelum beliau baca :)
    sampai suatu ketika bokap gw menyetop langganan korannya karena gw menemukan kata ‘lonte’ di dalam salah satu artikelnya, and i can’t stop asking what it meant..hehehe.

    my question is now…sejak kapan ya kita boleh ngajarin anak membaca? gw sih udah mulei perkenalan huruf seadanya lewat magnetic alphabet yang ditempel ke kulkas ke my 12mo boy. kecepetan nggak? kalau perkenalan dengan buku sih dari semenjak dia bisa melihat jelas, selalu dibacain cerita pake softbook.

  2. Mamita, seneng bgt baca tulisannya. Gue jg sangat hobi membaca sejak kecil dan dulu orang tua gue jg paling sering beliin kita buku dibanding mainan atau barang2 lainnya. Krn itu jg dari Aluf keciiiil banget gue udah memperkenalkan dia sama buku. Gue sama suami rajin bgt beliin dia buku2 dan ngebacain dia tiap malem. It didn’t take long for her to catch on, at the age of 2 she now loves books more than anything! Waktu membacakan buku ke dia setiap malam sebelum tidur bener2 jadi waktu yg special bgt buat kita dan secapek dan sengantuk apapun gue, gue usahain utk selalu ngebacain dia buku. I really believe reading to her is a big contributing factor to her learning how to speak quite early.

    rumahmika, Gue mulai bacain cerita ke Aluf dari dia umur 2 bulan loh hahahaha Jadi awal2nya gue pake buku2 yg gak ada ceritanya. Jadi cuma gambar2 besar dan 1 kata gitu, jadi dia cuma liat2 gambarnya aja dan dia seneng bgt! Setelah dia umur 8-9 bulanan baru deh gue mulai bacain buku cerita yg simpel2 dan pendek2. So I think there is no such a thing as “too early” when it comes to teaching your kids a good reading habit. You’ll be surprised at how those little munchkins can focus on us while we’re reading to her/him (padahal bisanya duduk diem 1 menit aja gak bisa hihihi)

  3. Good one ;) gw start beliin tiara buku sebelum dia lahir dan suka gw bacaan wkt dia di dlm perut, sampe skrg. Dari World book’s child craft 15 volume, a child’s first reading program, sampe buku2 Barney pun gw kasih baca utk Tiara. Biasanya tiara abis makan trus suka masuk ke ruang library trus ngambil salah satu bukunya trus ngejogrok deh. Dia sok2 baca gituh pdhal sih blom bisa…heheeh. Nah gw atau bs gw yg bacain buku lain. Read aloud gituh.
    I love books also and I hope tiara will do :)

  4. Aaah.. Sukaa sekali artikel ini!

    Just like Siska, I also love reading since I was a child, which I think was inherited by my mom. Gue inget, nyokap gue selalu menyempatkan diri untuk membaca. Entah itu koran, majalah or anything that’s readable. Jadi dari mulai bisa baca (TK Nol besar kalo gak salah), gue mulai mengobrak-abrik koleksi koran, majalah dan buku-buku nyokap. Nyokap pun juga jadi senang beliin gue buku, komik or majalah. Tiap pulang kerja, biasanya gue suka dibawain komik macamnya Petruk & Gareng, dll, yang murmer tapi Indonesia banget deh!

    I hope I will be able to inherit this reading habit to my daughter. Dari dalam perut, gue suka bacain Nadira dongeng. Sekarang, koleksi bukunya belum banyak sih. Masih buku-buku dari kain/karet aja. Itupun lebih sering digigitin dan dibejek-bejek sama dia kalo pas gue sok-sok ngebacain :-p

  5. Ah sudah pasti sy ketularan kakak saya pun dlm soal baca membaca. Wong pas bisa baca, selain komik2an/ majalah bobo gw turut serta membaca majalah gadis sepupu, mode, tabloid monitor juga *makanya skg jd hapal smp artis2an :p*
    Langit jg pengen bgt gw tularin demen baca ini, tp gw rasa ga bs dipaksa it will comes naturally.
    Dr bayi srg gw bacain buku2 koleksi gw yg ceritanya ttg anak kecil macam toto chan atau harry potter :p
    Pas dia udh gedean, baru dibeliin buku sndr, mulai dr barney, dora, barbie sampe financial series for kids :D *ini kerjaan bapaknya krn gambarnya lucu*
    Skg kalo ke toko buku, langit udah bs milih bukunya sendiri. Mudah2an bs pinter kaya kakak carissa dan kak iggy :)
    Great article mamlitaaaa!! :)

  6. Artikel yg bagus. Saya jg punya kebiasaan membelikan anak2 buku, buku apa aja, umumnya yg bergambar karena mereka masih 9 th dan 5 th. Mulai buku ilmu pengetahun sampe komik macam Tintin. Bahkan anak saya yg besar (si kakak) doyan baca Beny & Mice. Tapi saya pernah terkaget-kaget dan marah karena waktu si kakak berantem sama adiknya, dia memaki “dasar anak sundal” …padahal setelah saya tanya, dia nggak ngerti maksud dari “anak sundal”, usut punya usut ternyata dia tau istilah anak sundal karena membaca buku Beny & Mice… yah gak jadi marah lah saya :-) tapi jadi menjelaskan kepadanya bahwa kata2 itu berkonotasi negatif dan tidak layak diucapkan … dan wanti-wanti banget dia utk selalu bertanya kpd saya / papanya kalau ada hal-hal dari buku yg dia tdk mengerti :-) Oya, Beny & Mice tetep jd salah satu bacaan favoritnya dan koleksinya sdh lengkap :-)

  7. jadi inget cerita ibu mertua gw. dulu waktu suami gw masih di kandungannya, beliau baca satu buku, di situ ada tokoh seorang anak bernama Bryan yg sangat suka membaca buku. then, she named her son Bryan. bener aja, mulai dari kecil suami gw itu kalau makan sambil baca buku, pokoknya selalu baca buku dimana2. sampe sekarang pun kyknya pengeluaran dia terbesar di buku daripada beli baju atau yg lain hehehehe…. buku2 yg dia beli pun disimpen baik2 karena punya cita2 mau bikin perpustakaan kecil di rumah buat anak2nya (dia sendiri, of course) kelak.

  8. Iya jadi inget dulu wkt gw SD, gw sewa2in buku2 gw. Di rmh bikin perpustakaan kecil. Yg disewain nina, malory towers, dkknya. Hihiihihhii Seneng bgt deh. Bokap gw itu ga pernah mau beliin gw baju2 dan mainan mahal. Tapi utk buku, berapapun dia beliin. Alhasil bokap senang ngajakin gw beli buku. Ga ketinggalan langganan Bobo :D

  9. hihihi, banyak yg sama pengalamannya ternyata.
    gue dulu bikin pusing bokap gara2 umur 4th baca koran nemu kata pemerkosaan & bokap ga bisa nerangin.
    SD klas 3 gue minjem majalah ananda temen, trus ada rubrik konsul kesehatan. nanyalah gue ama emak, apakah haid itu? yg ada dimarahin trus ga boleh minjem2 lagi :p

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