New York-based Jen Brubaker has been reading to her children at bedtime since they were born. Brubaker, who holds two degrees in early childhood education and works as a Scholastic Book Fair consultant, credits the family’s nightly routine with instilling a love of reading in her oldest son, Ryan, who is 8 years old.
“He is not one I have to push to read,” she says. “Any time we are going somewhere, he always says, ‘Let me grab a book first.’”
While Brubaker still reads aloud to her son — an activity which experts recommend you continue to do, even as your kids enter upper elementary school — Ryan, now an independent reader, has taken the show on the road. His favorite place to read these days is in the car.
“That is where he’s getting that 20 minutes a day of reading when he’s not in school,” Brubaker says. “When we’re headed to soccer practice, he’s reading in the car.”
If a child volunteering to squeeze in a few pages of a book for enjoyment between extracurriculars sounds too good to be true, consider this: The habit is rubbing off on his younger brother, Kyle, who is 4 years old.
“His little brother sees it and says, ‘I need some books for the car, too,’” Brubaker says. “He’s starting that routine as well.”
Here’s what you’ll find in Ryan’s traveling library.