I recently asked the staff that I work with to tell me their favorite childhood books. I used the information to make a “School Favorites” Reading Wall in the library. The children have been very enthused to learn the favorite books of their beloved teachers, principal, and secretary. I found many of the books within our school library, and the children have been checking the books out this week.
To see the kids so excited made me think.: how we as adults model reading may be more important than we realize. Yes, my own kids see me read. I’m a writer, so I’m a reader by nature, but I haven’t had many discussions with them about what I read when I was their age and were it not for my daily job in a library I wouldn’t be up on the newest generation of favorite books available to my kids. I’m trying to bridge the gap between old classics and new classics in my job, so shouldn’t I be doing that in my own family, too? Shouldn’t we be having discussions about favorite characters and what type of plot keeps them wanting to read more? I listen to their incessant chatter about what’s happening in the virtual world of this and that video game, so why can’t we have those conversations about books?
Here is my to-do list:
1. Read more to my children. You can never be too old to be read aloud to.
2. Read not for the mere sake of completing a homework assignment but for the joy that books can bring.
3. Talk about the characters, plot, etc., what they like, what they don’t.
4. Enforce electronic shut-off before bed, so reading time becomes a valued ritual.
What ideas can you add to model the importance of reading in your home?