I clearly remember the day in first grade when reading “clicked” for me. Seated in a circle with other kids in my reading group, I studied the page from the oversize book on the teacher’s easel. I don’t remember what Dick, Jane, and their dog, Spot, were doing at this point in the story. But I do remember that the letters on the page suddenly became words. Oh, so that’s how it works!
I took off reading and didn’t stop for years. Most mornings began with reading all the cereal boxes on the table. Soon I had a library card, and how I loved my weekly trips to the children’s library in my town to scoop up armfuls of fascinating books! Eventually I graduated to the main library and weathered high school with help from countless young-adult novels (tamer, I’m sure, than many YA books today … )
College slowed my love of reading for pleasure, I’m sorry to say. Marriage and motherhood turned my attention to reading for information–I needed help! A career in publishing has at times both fueled and foiled my love of reading, and today I too frequently succumb to information overload as I scan social media and news sites and blog posts about countless topics and goings-on in our world.
But I can’t imagine not reading or not enjoying reading. I don’t want to forget the joy of a good story I just couldn’t–and didn’t–put down until I reached the end. I wouldn’t ever want to put off opening my Bible because I don’t enjoy reading … and I don’t want any child to grow up feeling that way either.
So how do we encourage children to read?
By our example,
by reading to them even while they are babies
by filling our homes with books that engage and entice them
by making reading an everyday practice
by taking trips to the library and the bookstore
by helping them find the books they want to read
by keeping tabs on how their reading ability is progressing and getting the right help when it is needed.
Want more tips? Check out “I Hate Reading: What this can really mean and how parents can help” on the Scholastic.com website.
Visit Diane at www.dianestortz.com
© 2014, Diane Stortz