As she grew and wanted me to read to her, I decided that anytime she asked me to read, I would do it. Sometimes this was easy, when she wanted me to read a book and then she went on to do something else. Other times, this was a real chore. Once we sat on the floor and read for over two hours straight. My back hurt, my bottom hurt, and I was sick of the same ten books.
Right before she turned four, she started to pick out words and read. When she started Kindergarten, she was reading chapter books (Flat Stanley, etc.) and now reads every night (often for hours) until she falls asleep.
Though it took some commitment on my part to make time to read to my kids, this seems like a pretty basic commitment to make. Before television and iPads, that is what parents did. Sadly, reading is becoming extinct. I read the other day that less than 10% of parents include reading a book in a child's bedtime routine. Not only does this surprise me as a mother, but also as an eternal book lover.
There is something so beautiful about reading. You escape, you explore new times, new worlds, you have the opportunity to view history in a new way, to walk in someone else's shoes, your vocabulary and spelling improve, and most importantly - you learn without realizing. I want my children to learn and to glean all of these benefits from books.
Perhaps my love of reading came from my mother taking us to the library every week. I remember getting my first library card and seeing the thousands of books and being told I could borrow ANY books I wanted. It was overwhelming and exciting. My first real responsibility. But maybe, just maybe, my love of books came from my mom's devotion to reading to me. Her loving commitment to take the few minutes to share a book with me. Certainly, in the time of e-readers, iPhones, and Wiis, we can take a breath and read to our kids. I admit, I am on my laptop right now. My kids are up and they are playing. But I assure you, if either of my children bring me a book, I will hit save and close my laptop. I made the commitment to my daughter over five years ago and it still stands. I will read to them until they are teenagers begging me to stop. I hope this commitment is contagious. ;)
*photo is my mom reading to my kidlets
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