Reading is the key to learning. It unlocks doors to so many different worlds that we can enjoy, be inspired by and learn from.
Aaron is 10 years old and has been by far the slowest bookworm to develop at our house. Reading just didn't come very easily to him. I have wondered if I didn't teach him as well as I should have (and that could be very well true) but I also realized that for some children (especially boys) it is just harder, they don't grasp it as easily but then when they get a little older it will happen - they will be readers. Aaron has been reading for a few years now but with a lot of stumbling and it wasn't really fun for him. He would read to me and when necessary at other times but reading just for the pure enjoyment of it did not happen. It isn't that he didn't enjoy books - I would say probably he more than the rest of our children (and they really love it too!) loved to listen to anybody read aloud. He has a great questioning mind and would absorb what we read like a sponge - but read himself? No thank you.
It was 2 or 3 weeks ago now that Aaron asked if I would help him find a book for him to read during our afternoon quiet time. I found him "The Trolley Car Family" hoping that it would be easy enough and fun enough to keep him going. It was - he loved it! He would read past the time when I told them they could get up and play, he would pull it out and read it during commercials when we were watching the Olympics. Or even when the figure skating was on he would go read instead of watch at all. From there he went on to read "Farmer Boy", a cowboy book and I think some others. He is now enjoying reading "Rascal". Jonathan has complained that Aaron doesn't always want to play anymore - he likes to read sometimes instead (of course that has happened the opposite way before too).
I just thought I would share our story and success and hope that it might encourage others that have slow readers that eventually (if you don't give up and keep encouraging) they will learn to enjoy reading.
Some of the things we have done in our house which I do think helps to promote a reading sort of environment are these:
- We read aloud a lot. I read in the morning and afternoon and Ken does at night. This has pretty much always been some of the favorite times of day.
- We very rarely watch any TV or Movies (at least the kids and I - Ken does watch news in the morning - generally before the kids are up and then usually watches something at night after they go to bed). The exception to this rule is when the Olympics are on.
- The kids have no electronics to play on. They do get to use our PC every so often but that is not even every day and never for very long.
- We have shelves and shelves of books available and we also get a lot of books from the Library.
- Grandparents encourage their reading by giving them books and reading out loud to them. I have felt so blessed that every single one of their grandparents will encourage them in that way.
Do you like to read? How about your kids? I would love to hear your thoughts on what fosters good readers.