Yes. Maya provides scores of activities and ideas to mix learning into family life for kids at each age and stage, from infant to beginning reader. So hop in and you’ll find relevant tips, tricks, and recommendations for the stage your child is in. Plus, you’ll discover context, ideas, and inspiration that will continue to be valuable as they grow older, too.
Yes. This book is for anyone caring for (or who cares about) young children. Anyone spending time with babies and young kids can easily implement Maya’s advice and hands-on activities—and have a huge impact on the children they care for. In fact, the more people in a child’s life with access to the information in Reading for Our Lives, the better the child’s prospects.
No! Maya has waded through extensive academic (and very technical) research—so you don’t have to. The book summarizes findings and delivers evidence-based suggestions in a conversational approach specifically intended for busy fellow parents. One reader said it feels like “sitting down to coffee with a fellow parent (who has done a lot more reading than they have) as opposed to being ‘filled up’ by an expert.” The information in the book can change a child’s life trajectory, but Maya’s tips for acting on it are intentionally simple, straightforward, and affordable. Maya keeps the busy parent front and center, ensuring her advice and activities are easy and fun to fit into real life.
A lifetime! But don’t worry, a lifetime of enrichment can happen in just the time you’re already spending with your child, over your months and years together. Raising a reader isn’t just about quantity, but about quality. And when you know what to look and ask for, that quality can infuse your child’s time with everyone they spend time with, so the burden isn’t just on you. Reading for Our Lives shows busy parents how to make learning—and, yes, “teaching”—fun for the whole family. Learning to read is hard work for kids’ brains, but parents’ work to nurture reading doesn’t have to be. Amazingly, this urgent, life-altering work is best done with a light, nearly imperceptible touch. And with a little coaching, parents can build literacy-fostering habits into daily life with no special tools, apps, or materials. Maya provides the simple routines, easy conversation starters, and fun activities to make it happen.
Praise for Reading for Our Lives
Reading for Our Lives is the book to turn to when nurturing critical readers. Like reading, Smart’s book is for our children’s lives. Don’t miss out, because our kids must not miss out on the life-giving power of reading.
I have rarely had a more visceral reaction to a book than I had in reading Maya Smart’s Reading for Our Lives: I was, in turn, frightened, angered, reassured, and finally, inspired. I was frightened because I thought back on all the things I missed about reading while raising my kids that she expertly details here. I was angry because she offers an expert roadmap for navigating the tough terrain of literacy for our children. And I was inspired because her book is so eloquent and easy to understand as she leads us in the crucial work of providing our children their best futures because they are truly literate. This is a brilliant, timely and life-changing book that is worth far more to you and your children than what it costs to read Maya Smart’s illuminating words and soak in her transformative wisdom.
A must-read for any parent! This exceptional book walks you through not only the why of reading to your child but the way. The scientifically grounded, step-by-step insights outlined here can heighten both your and your child’s joy at learning one of life’s most important skills: reading.
I anticipate a revolution of reading readiness once parents get their hands on this book! In Reading for Our Lives, Maya Smart puts her faith in parents as the key participants in leading our youngest learners into literacy. No more tears over tedious workbooks or relentless drilling. Instead, Smart offers countless, actionable tips and practices to be used at home. Smart rightly claims that learning to read is of urgent, liberating importance for today’s children. Preparing them at home so that they are equipped for school is a gift any parent can easily give their children, with Smart’s book in hand. I’ll be recommending Reading for Our Lives for years to come. It’s the best book about learning to read I’ve ever read!
This book is a wonderful resource for families with young children as it recognizes them as the child’s ‘first teachers.’ It weaves together an introduction to early literacy through the child’s ages and stages with recommendations that support raising a reader!