The usefulness of reading charts and library games has always escaped me. “You get a prize for reading 6 books” sounds about the same to me as getting a prize for every 6 brownies I eat. Who needs motivation? Reading is delicious!
I guess that is why my children never can really get excited about the library programs to encourage reading. At my house, you get in trouble for reading too much. It seems everybody has always got their nose in a book: chore time, mealtime, anytime. When my son Daniel was still in public school, his teacher confided in me at his parent /teacher conference that it was very evident that Daniel had traveled widely. I was puzzled until we figured out that he had gained his apparently wide geographical exposure via books!
How do you instill a love of reading in your children? I wish I knew. It just happened around here. When I consider it seriously, I suppose it is because I love to read so much, and there are always boxes full of library books gracing the family room floor. The library is like a candy shop: so much I want to taste! This rubs off on kids, I guess. Plus, we almost never watch television.
The other day I was visiting with an acquaintance who was commiserating over how horrible an ordeal it was in her home to get her kids to practice the piano. I couldn’t relate. My kids fight over who gets to play the piano. I have taught them basics, and we have lots of books and supplies. They come to me asking me to help them learn whatever song that have heard lately, and we figure it out together. They teach each other songs, pick out tunes on their own, and spend their own money on sheet music…and as they got older, lessons. “How can that be?” she wondered. From my viewpoint, making music has always been fun! How can you keep your children from liking it?
I want you to know that my children do not fight over who gets to do their math first. Is it because I don’t like math? Our attitudes are potently powerful and highly transferable. Whatever you delight in and do in your spare time often looks desirable to your children. It doesn’t take coaxing or giving assignments to get them to follow your enthusiastic example.
So, parents, let us observe our own attitude! The biggest determining factor in children’s progress in reading skills is if the parents in the family read for pleasure. This is particularly true if the child is a boy and he observes his father reading. I think we underestimate our own silent influence. Our loves and our enjoyments are contagious.
It is back to us, our attitude and our example. Always.
May I recommend: