Encouraging Children To Read

By

A Blast From The Past But Worth Repeating:

Children are born with what appears to be an unlimited ability to absorb information. They are like sponges. The question is what we choose to have that sponge absorb. If you want reading to become a valued part of your children’s lives, one way is for reading to have a place of importance in your daily routine.

When my son was just a few months old I got him a book. This book was made of cardboard pages. Seriously. It was great! He could not ruin the pages with his still young and clumsy fingers. He loved that book. When he started walking he carried it with him everywhere. He could live without his blanket, but not without his book!

In steps Dr Seuss

Part of our evening routine was to read together. We had purchased the entire set of Dr Seuss books. We read through them all over and over again, never tiring of the stories. My son learned his colors, alphabet, numbers, and how to read with these books. I never had problems getting him to try new foods after ‘green eggs & ham’.

I have always loved to read so my son probably gets it from me. Reading takes me away from the ‘real world’ stresses for a brief time. My genre is science fiction because I like to travel to a world where anything is possible. Ordinary objects could have magical power, or at least not ordinary power. Your favorite character suddenly realizes that they are ‘special’ and have an ability that others do not. Is it going to be used for good or for evil? Is it going to grow and morph in to another more powerful ability?

I also think that to some extent this kind of vacation from reality actually enhances my ability to ‘think outside the box’ in the real world. Sometimes our work world requires us to come up with innovative solutions to problems. Just because something has always been done a certain way does not mean it is the best way.

To this day my son is an avid reader. He reads everything. Fiction, non-fiction, you name it.

I am sometimes surprised to hear what he has read. I truly believe that this love of reading started when he was just a few months old and I gave him his first book, made of cardboard. The seed was planted. Our evening routine of reading together cultivated that seed. Today that seed has grown in to a fully mature love of reading.  I love it!

I am quite sure that this new grandchild of mine has a really good chance of becoming the reader his or her father is.

Do you make reading part of your time spent with your grandchildren? Do you have favorite books you can recommend?

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Comments (8)

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  1. Leora says:

    I can't believe you are a grandmother! We love the Boynton books for the little ones. I know But Not the Hippopotamus by heart. My mother used to read us Good Night Moon and Runaway Bunny.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I know. I can't believe it either. But I am excited! I will definitely look up those books.

  2. Dan Meyers says:

    It's amazing how fast kids can learn when learning is fun… it makes me sad to think that school's most important role is "socializing" kids!

    • Geek Girl says:

      You are quite right. That's why parents / grandparents have to be actively involved to ensure children are getting more than just socialization.

  3. Great post, Cheryl, and congrats on the new blog.

    You are so right that children need to be encouraged to appreciate books. We didn't do much reading in our household, and I hate to admit that reading is not a favourite pastime of mine. I think that's why I prefer magazines. Short bites with lots of pics suits a short-attention personality type like mine. Happy New Year to you!

    • Geek Girl says:

      Thanks Doreen! Writing books still requires a lot of reading. 🙂 Like you my husband likes the short bites too.

  4. AuctionMama says:

    I keep my grandson one or two days a week while his parents work. Like any good grandma, I have a ton of toys, and of course books, down at his level. He has about a dozen little board books that he's been pulling out since he was old enough to get his hands on them. His grandpa and I have read each of those books hundreds of times. I read to my kids when they were small, also I was an adult learner as my children were growing up, so they saw me reading all the time. Sure enough, my daughter is now an adult learner herself. So her little guy is seeing her doing her reading homework as well. It's amazing to see how much they mimic what they see grown ups doing.

    • Geek Girl says:

      There may be those who dispute it, but I think that if reading is part of the routine when children are young they are more likely to become readers themselves. That is no bad thing. 🙂