Read To (Your) Children

When my students had to take the mid-term tests for my program, I promised them a reward if they all focused and finished within one week. They did, and I made good on my vow. I gave them each a copy of a classic children’s book.

Book ownership is a significant component of cultivating the habit of reading. Having one’s own books, to pick up anytime and delve into, creates a sense of investment. This can encourage the attitude of curiosity that prompts one to look between the covers. My students don’t own many books.

Another aspect of helping children love reading is to read to them. Again, this is something many children don’t experience. The book I gave them is The Phantom Tollbooth. They were somewhat in awe when I gave each a copy. A few days later, one student told me, “You know, I thought this book would be boring, but it isn’t!”

As a reward for excellent behavior at the end of program yesterday, I offered to read aloud. I read the first chapter and, when done, asked if they’d liked being read to. They all nodded vigorously. One student said, “You read fast, Teacher.” I asked if that was bad, and he replied that it was good, that other teachers read too slow and in a boring voice. Another boy declared with enthusiasm, “Teacher, I didn’t like it. I LOVED IT!” So I promised to read them a chapter a day, 20 in all, as long as they also read it on their own. It’s such a fun story to read aloud! I wish I could read to children more often.

If you have children in your life — your own, nieces, nephews, cousins, your friends’ kids — consider buying them a book for their next birthday. Or just because; reading doesn’t have to be a special occasion. And read them a story, or a book about a subject they like, when you next have time for a shared activity. You’ll have their rapt attention, and you’ll probably enjoy yourself.

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3 Comments on “Read To (Your) Children”

  1. Lynn Says:

    Oh yes, books are *always* gift for DD’s friends at birthdays.

    THe favorite one we’ve read together so far is called the search for delicious by natalie babbitt. I had warm fuzzies the whole way through and DD enjoyed it quite a bit herself.

    THe BFG by Roald Dahl is another good one. Actualy just about anything by him is worth reading out loud to kids. 😀

    Is there a children’s literacy program through the library during the summer months you could get involved with whilst school is out?

  2. Firebrand Says:

    Reading was my escape as a child. I absolutely LOVED it! I sometimes wish for that I had the time again to be able to read that much…well, ok, I read a lot, but it’s all studying! LOL!

    I just wanted to say that I think that you couldn’t be more right. I very often will read a book for the kids in my life or, when it comes time to buy a present, I very often look for good books. And I always hope that they’ll fall in love with reading in the same way I did….

  3. Kathryn Says:

    Oh yes, I grew up on Roald Dahl. 🙂

    I’ll be working this summer with kids, and I may get a chance to read to them then. When I volunteered at the library, they didn’t want anyone infringing on the staff’s duties, so volunteers could only sort books. Dumb, but that’s the way it was.

    I guess I need to get busy and have one of my own!