Thanks to several posts by DadDude, Larry Sanger, about reading 'advanced' books to his son, I was inspired to start reading chapter books to Joey before bed. Prior to that, I felt like the majority of our reading time was spent with him having to 'work' at it, and didn't want him to lose the joy for reading. I want(ed) to be sure he was inspired to want to advance his reading abilities. So, I gave him the choice between Alice in Wonderland (that's not the title, but you know what I mean), and Oliver Twist. Both books I had previously picked up in the dollar bin from Target, knowing that I eventually wanted the kids to know what these classics were. I was pleasantly surprised by my son's interest!! Each chapter is only a few (4 to 7 or so pages), so it doesn't take me long to get through it. I was planning on stopping after the first chapter, until Joey begged me to continue. :-) It was late, so we only did a few chapters, but I was so surprised that he was genuinely interested and paying attention! That was Saturday night.
Sunday night was hectic, so we didn't read from the chapter book.
Monday night was another wonderful surprise. Again it was much later than expected, but Joey requested Oliver Twist before bedtime prayers, which is the last thing we do before he falls asleep. So, I agreed, and since we skipped the night before, did a quick review of what we had read. Each set of pages has one picture, so we just used those as guides to get us through to where we would start reading. One of the pages he stopped me on to say "help, help!" I wasn't sure if this was because he read it on the page or if he recalled it, but I thought it was neat that he did it, still. When I finished the first chapter of the night, he pleaded with me to do more, so I did. And although he pleaded for more when that was done, I told him he had to wait until the next day.
This morning I shouldn't have been surprised, then, when Joey asked me for Oliver Twist! I've noticed that if we tell him things at night, he ALWAYS seems to remember it the next day. That's probably why I try to use story time to add or reinforce information that I'd like for him to retain.
FYI: Story time for us usually starts with "Once there was a boy name ... JOEY! ... " And is used to relay something of importance. That's how he learned my telephone number, and how he's learning/reinforcing the continents/countries/states, etc, in addition to other tidbits. I also use it to recap the day's events to help reinforce his memory of the day or the week or the month. I love seeing where his imagination take it. I learned this from another parent and am so grateful because prior to that it was just reading little books. If you don't do it with your child, I definitely recommend it. :-)
PS: One of the reasons I liked chapter books in theory and now in practice is because it aids in memory while adding to Joey's vocabulary and ability to self-express. I'm contemplating adding French and Spanish reading into our book time too. We'll see.