In my travels in the reading world, I often have an opportunity to meet incredible people. Conversations with Mem Fox, Dr. Catherine Snow, John H. Ritter, Carmen Agra Deedy, and Aliki Brandenberg are at the top of my list. I have many more friends out there (just too many to name) but they are are devoted to one thing in common: helping families understand the power and magic of reading with your children.
I keep in touch and Aliki in the midst of her travels was kind enough to share the following words of wisdom with me for you. They apply whether you have a child who is 5 or 15.
Reading to Your Child
I hope you know the joys and benefits of reading to your child. My greatest pleasure was reading to my own two children, Jason and Alexa. We would pile on the bed an hour before bedtime with our chosen books, snuggle close, and spend as much of that precious time as possible in this magical state. When I sometimes hear “I’m too busy”, I wonder what is more important? The dishes?
The statistics are clear, and there for all to see. They tell us that Books=Literacy. To read is to absorb words, grammar, sentence structure, the comprehension of ideas, and insights into the world around us.
But beyond those many benefits is the soul. In the warmth from that nearness of reading a book together, we share any emotion the words and pictures inspire: joy, laughter, fear, sadness, excitement, awe. We share conversation, and communicate the wonder, questions, and understanding the story generates.
A love of reading is one of the most life-fulfilling habits children can develop - AND IT IS FREE! It is a precious gift for which they will one day thank you. Your reward will be to see your own children read to their own children. Believe me. Those who live this, know. Just as teachers often beget teachers, readers beget readers.
Happy reading together!
Do you have wonderful mentors and inspirations you want to share? Can you be an inspiration to someone who doesn't read with their children? Absolutely, you can!