I remember reading this article about a year ago when it first appeared. I saved it because I liked it that much. I knew I’d want to refer back to it someday. Well today is the day.
I remember liking two things about it in particular– first the point about how it’s a parent’s job to make sure kids are reading. I could write several whole posts about my annoyance over the fact that year in and year out, I always have students who never read at home despite the fact that their parents lie for them and sign off on their reading log. I think for whatever reason, the parents think I am stupid and can’t tell. Then they come in for a conference with me and get heated over why their child isn’t reading better. Yes, it’s the job of a parent. Most parents don’t like to hear that.
The second thing I really liked about the article comes towards the end where it explains that kids need to see other people reading to help them learn to develop a love for reading. And I guess that explains my kids’ obsession with books– a mommy and daddy who are obsessed with books. I read every night without fail. Sometimes I read while Andrew is watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or while they are playing (not very often but sometimes I get to). I don’t see this as ignoring them, I see this as an opportunity to let them see how much I enjoy it.
We have quite an extensive library at our house. I lost track of how many books we have but it was well over 300 before Andrew turned one. At any given time a few dozen of them are covering the floor of the play room. I put them back sometimes but then I figure, why bother, they like sitting in the middle of the pile surrounded by books. Sounds pretty appealing actually!
This wasn’t intended to be a “soapbox” post but since it’s turning that way here goes: Reading is essential. Make time for it. Make time to read to your children and when they are old enough make sure THEY read. Make time to read for enjoyment yourself and don’t be afraid to tell your kids that you ARE reading for enjoyment. Explain to them what you like about it and why. Don’t say you don’t have enough time for it because they are watching and lets face it, we all have 15 minutes a day that we could gain from getting off of facebook and opening a book– trust me, if I can then you can!
Our little ones are watching. They are counting on us. We spend so much time these days worrying about what we are putting on our bodies, why not spend some time thinking about what we are putting in our mind.