Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Family that Reads Together...


Autumn is always a reminder to thank God in every circumstance. When the days are sunny and cool, we can enjoy the leaves changing colors. When the rain comes in buckets instead of watering cans, we know hurricane season is here, and after enjoying the puddles and fresh-washed outdoors, it's a great time to come inside and cuddle up with the kids and a good book. 

The grammar of reading begins with someone reading to a child. Children need to be read to in three ways: 1) Above their reading level to expose them to vocabulary, 2) below their reading level to over-learn meaning, and 3) at their reading level to broaden their thinking skills. Reading as a family is the most effective way to get all these levels of reading in, whether you have one child or twelve. 

I have been reading to boys at night since 1983. I will read to my boys and then to my husband for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to read to my grandbabies. Some nights I miss reading because we watch TV or I’m not home. It’s okay. 

By the time David graduates from high school, I will have read to my boys for almost 11,000 hours. Believe me: we have covered every possible kind of book in that time, from medical and science journals to joke books and magazines. I have no planned reading. We just read something someone wants to read. Easy!

Other families read at meal times or after Dad gets home from work. This is the most important thing we do as a family. If there were no church building to attend or no work to employ us or no neighbors to keep up with, we could still be richly influenced by others as we enter the Great Classical Conversations of mankind through history and literature.

So, even if this autumn has you searching for the rainbow instead of basking in the sun, take a minute to enjoy the gift of reading with your family.

1 comment:

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Off to get those kiddos up, and get reading. We're reading through a Case for Christ. I read the kid's version, teens read the student version and the the adult version. We have all three. Yea for apologetics!