Needless to say, one of the children’s most favorite place in here is the library. Every library used to have its own children section, some of them are separated in different floor, and others are in the same floor as adults section. Either way, the library is a very fun place for children. Libraries are packed with children especially on weekends and public or school holidays. Sometimes it’s even very hard to find books or find a convenient place to sit. The children section is full of children running, screaming, crying, reading with very loud voice, scattering the books, etc. However it’s actually just a prove that children really love library and they can spend hours in the library. Even babies and toddlers spend their time with their parents in the library. It’s a good thing that parents accustomed their children with libraries since young age. Children who love books are good assets for the nation.
It’s a common thing to see parents reading for their children at the library. Children at very young age are already familiar and know how to search books from the computer’s catalog, how to borrow books by scanning their books at the borrowing machine, and how to return books promptly. Lil boy has mastered all of those without our help at all. If you’re too lazy to read for your children, just let them join the reading / story telling activity with the librarian which is usually held once a week. Other activities, seminars, and exhibitions are held periodically in libraries.
There are many libraries in Singapore, and almost in every area has its own library. They’re clean, cool, and convenient places to spend the day. Although libraries are very popular in Singapore, they’re still try to make themselves more lovelier places to visit. They change the decoration many times to invite children (and adults too) to come and visit. The newest one is of course My Tree House Library. Located in the National Library in Bras Basah/Bugis Area, the children section had been totally revamped into a different place. If you’ve known the place before (we’d been there once and quite boring for children and my son decided not to come again-it’s because of the layout of the room and not the books collection), well……it’s totally a different place now.
It now has a giant tree house inside and children can climb and read books under the big tree trunk. The whole area has been changed into a big forest with mushrooms, trees, flowers, and butterflies. I like yellow as the dominant color on the bookshelves because it’s bright but has a calm effect.
When we visited this library on weekends, we found this place a bit too crowded and noisy too. We don’t mind children running and screaming around the library, but sometimes we still prefer a quiet one actually. Although this is a nice place to visit, me might not want to come back very often, because in term of books collection, this is still our favorite place to go:
Since we love libraries, we always look for new ones that we never visit.
For Indonesia magazines collections, so far we found them in Jurong East Library (Femina, Kartini, and Sedap), Tampines (Femina, Kartini), National Library (Sedap), and Ang Mo Kio (I don’t remember what magazines were there when we visited). For other libraries, either they don’t have or we don’t know because we weren’t looking for them
My friend suggested us to visit Woodlands Library as one of the biggest library in Singapore for children section, and of course we did visit this library.
Of course, other libraries that we often visit are Tampines Library (I’ve posted about this before) and the one that is close to our house:
The best thing about library…..it doesn’t cost much to be a library member, and it has special program on school holidays……..we can double up our loan……..! So on holidays, we usually bring 32 books home with us.
My lil boy also learn how to read English by reading books. To be honest, I don’t know about the phonic systems and I never teach him how to read (in English) with phonic systems. I also hate to ask him to memorize words in English, because it’s not the right way to learn English. In my search of how to teach children to read, many of them suggested to teach the children by reading books.
I taught him by reading simple books every night for at least five minutes (when he was 4.5 years old and only when he was fluent with reading and writing in Bahasa Indonesia). Trust me, teaching Bahasa Indonesia first than English is easier for both the children and parents. Children who is already mastering reading in Indonesian language, should have little problems learning how to read in English.
Then when his reading skill developed, he started to read by himself. He started with simple books (with big pictures and big words in color), then when he feel bored with those kind of books, he continued with more difficult books until now he becomes very good in reading and writing in English (for his age of course). Books do help us a lot because the same words appear again and again and that’s how he memorizes the words and how to spell them. This is also less stressful then asking them to memorize the words.
So thank you libraries for making us spend more quality time by reading good books together.