Tuesday, January 25, 2011


How do we instill the love for books into a child that will carry them for life?

I have such great memories of reading as a kid. One of my favorite memories is with my dad. He was my principal in a small school for the first 7 years of my schooling. A perk (to me) was this special access to a storage room. Dad would let me go into this dusy room full of years and years of outdated textbooks and let me pick books to bring home. It was like entering a magical world! Now this must've been the late 80's (I was just a few years older than the boys...WOW!). So that means the outdated books were from the 60's, maybe 70's. I remember reading a book (and struggling to read it) about how to teach special education students in PE. Ha! My favorite books to get were social studies books or those big books used for reading curriculum with all the stories and then questions at the end. I always felt so special and I'm sure it's a part of what made me want to be a teacher and gave me a passion for life-long reading.

I always wonder how we instill that in our children. Molly and Katie are at that perfect age where they love reading. Love being read to. We read "The Foot Book" over and over and over. Books are fascinating.The boys love books as well, but are beginning to show real preference. They like to look at books about Star Wars, or have us read Magic Treehouse books to them. But, they are right in between independent reading on their own and us reading to them.

We had a moment in the public library today (we LOVE the library). We were walking through all the adult fiction books and into the non-fiction section (where the Star Wars books are located). They were kind of in awe at all the books. I stopped, pulled one out and said, "You can check this out." They didn't believe me. I walked around randomly pointing to several books. I said, "You can check out any book in this library. All these books are open to you. Even if you can't read them." They were totally stoked. I have to find a science section because I think they'll be in heaven for weeks and weeks. It was a great moment.

It made me realize that I need to find and take advantage of those moments where they love reading and help instill that further. I don't want learning to read to be a process of dread. I want excitement. Love! Joy! I think we're on the right path, and I hope that they learn to love reading and books as much as I do.

On the list of things to do?
*Introduce them to the used book store
*Family Reading Time (reading or browsing, everyone has a book, or 10)
*Learning how to read! And for the girls? Learning more letters! (More on that another post)

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