August 12, 2020 – Reading for Education and Enjoyment

Why do we read?

Why do we worry over our children reading well and often?

Why do adults quit reading once they get out of school?

Teaching reading skills to children is not as difficult as our society makes it. You can find tons of different resources, curricula, opinions, and research in reading.

Anytime there are multiple ways of doing something, it means there is no single best way. Everyone learns differently; therefore, there are numerous ways to teach reading skills.

Once your child knows how to read, the focus moves to comprehension. How do you teach a child to understand what they are reading?

That’s easy. You read with them. You stop. You ask what they think happens next. You talk about the characters. You make up other things that the characters would say. You guess what their favorite color is.

You treat the story like a friend.

Bill Peet was my middle child’s favorite author for several years.

When your child learns that books contain brilliant stories of things they couldn’t even imagine, they learn to love reading.

They carry that love into adulthood and create a more intelligent society.

The writers of the Declaration of Independence read books and papers from other countries to create this historic document that changed the world.

Books introduce ideas that change history.

The Bible was written over hundreds of years by numerous different people. I would say it is life changing.

Hitler began his political career with a book.

Words and ideas are what change the world.

Here’s what we do for reading once we get past elementary level books:

The library.

Simply pick books.

Assign a certain amount of time to read each day.

Create a journal. Write any new words there.

Keep a log of titles, authors, and pages read each day.

Have your student write a sentence or two summary of the content read each day.

Or something funny.

Keep quotes that he/she loves.

That’s how everyone in America learned to read for 200 years. No reason to reinvent the wheel.

Read aloud forever.

Audiobooks in the car have been a mainstay in our family for as long as we have been taking car rides together.

We “read” many classics in the car.

Black Beauty

Tarzan

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the sea

Treasure Island

Shakespeare

Beowulf

And many, many more!

Please don’t stress yourself or your child over a tedious reading program.

Visit your thrift stores. Second hand books are just as good as new ones. A home filled with books is an educational home.

One last bit of advice – Don’t make your student read “on level”. That’s ridiculous. Many of my favorite books are labeled as children’s books and not available in the “teen” or “adult” section. Don’t let the librarian run your middle schooler out of the children’s books. And don’t prevent your elementary aged child from exploring the adult non-fiction areas. All books are valuable. I don’t like labeling them for any certain age.

Now, get to your library and enjoy! (also available online if you are stuck at home)

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