Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The importance of reading

          I was thinking about this last night. I have always loved to read. I taught myself to read at age 4 by listening to my sister, who is 2 years older than me, and watching her finger move under the words as she sounded them out. In first grade, my teacher brought out a basket of paperbacks that only I was allowed to read--because I was the only one that far advanced. I remember picking out a Little House on the Prairie book. By the time I hit junior high I was often zipping through a book a day.
          Fast forward to my children. I have one who shares my obsession with books, one who I have to fight with to even get her to read mandatory books for school, and three that fall somewhere in between.
          It got me thinking about other family members and friends and how those who love to read, and read often, succeed(ed) better in school. They strive harder. This may not be applicable to everyone, but it's pretty accurate for those I thought about.
          My next thought was-"How do I get my less than enthusiastic kids to read more?" The obvious answer is to find books they enjoy. I get library books for my two youngest. Sometimes they are a big hit (Araminta Spookie) and sometimes they aren't. I encourage them to read beyond what is required for school. If that means reading a graphic novel, Lego magazine or the sunday comics, at least they are reading and doing so by choice.
          The daughter who hates reading I think really just hates taking the time to actually get through a book. If she finds something she likes (Twilight series-but no other vampire/werewolf/etc. books, Hush, Hush, or--pat on my back--the novel I wrote) then she will read it late into the night and sometimes more than once. :) It's getting her to pick a book and giving it a chance that's the struggle.
          It is my oldest daughter who reads almost as much as I do. She also writes and is creative and artistic. She has come up with amazing storylines. Now if I could just get her to finish one.
          My love of books is obvious from the overflowing bookshelves throughout our house. Hopefully their presence will influence my kids to grab one and curl up with it, unable to put it down even when they are supposed to be going to sleep. Whether it be Sir Farts-a-lot, Harry Potter or mythical creatures...I want them to love stories.

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