If you want your CHILD to be a reader...then YOU need to be a reader.
Last year, we moved all of our books to a central location in our home. We carved out a library from our previously designated dining room. Your children understand - the things you treasure, the items you have around you, they are important - my son knows, our books are important.
He also knows I am a voracious reader. He has not always known reading was a passion of mine. Especially since he rarely saw me read. Oh, occasionally he would see me with a book, but his waking hours were seldom my reading hours - they were my working' or taking care of him hours. The act of reading was tucked away under the cover of darkness or in the early morning hours before he awoke.
As a homeschooling family, we of course read together. However, depending on the curriculum for the year, the amount of time we spent actively reading varied. Until we took a literature class together and read 12 books during family read aloud time within a period of 8 eight months.
Our family read aloud time was a treasure and the friends we made with Heidi, Lad the dog, the pirates on Treasure Island, and others will be cherished for a lifetime. We have continued our family read aloud time and have intentionally carved out individual, day-time pleasure reading time - along with ensuring our 'curriculum' is rich with subject reading.
If you want your child to be a lifelong reader...then you need to be a lifelong reader.
A study by the National Endowment of the Arts evaluates "reading habits alongside other behaviors and related outcomes including academic achievement, employment, and community involvement." Their conclusion: Advanced readers accrue personal, professional, and social advantages. Deficient readers run higher risks of failure in all three areas.*
To read the NEA Executive Summary - click here: To Read or Not To Read - A Question of National Consequence
Are you interested in taking the reading challenge?
A fellow librarian has challenged her patrons to read 10 books in six months. Liz Cottrill of Living Books Library offers this encouragement:
"Brave parents, wise parents, face the challenge and take action. The key to winning the battle for reading with our children is within us. If we want our children to not just perform the act of reading, but become intimately enthusiastic and independent pursuers of books, we must do two things: 1) read to them; 2) read ourselves. Every single day."Liz estimates we will be able to complete this challenge with just 10 minutes of reading every single day. The results, of course, will have a much longer impact!
- Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen
- Hard Times (Dover Thrift Editions) by Charles Dickens
- The Call to Wonder: Loving God Like a Child by R. C. Sproul
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher
- The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
- A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy
- Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
- Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt
- Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories by C. S. Lewis
- Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray Bradbury
Will you join me in this reading challenge?