Reading is a wonderful activity in that it can be whatever you want it to be! You can read to entertain; you can read to inform; you can read to educate, to distract. You can treat reading as a hobby; or you can make reading a skill. When you stop to think about it reading occupies a large part of our day. You read your phone messages in the morning. The cereal box at breakfast. The newspaper at work. The emails in your inbox. The textbook in your classroom. The menu at dinner. The billboards on your way home. The directions for your facial cleansing mask. Reading is everywhere!
Summertime is prime time for children’s reading programs. School's out for three months and all the teachers are at the beach. As a parent you want to make sure your child’s brain doesn’t turn to mush during the vacation period. Reading lists and rewards programs are popular among schools and libraries to motivate children to read. But sometimes this assignment can feel like just one more required chore to add to a jam-packed summer schedule. Between camps, club sports, vacations, holidays, summer jobs, and playdates, reading often becomes one more thing that will never be accomplished.
I used to fall asleep with a mountain of books in my bed because I would read until the wee hours of the night. I reread countless books countless times. My family would check out the maximum number of books that the library allowed per library card and then my siblings and I would take turns reading the words right off the page. I would memorize the backs of cereal boxes and pour over the newspaper during breakfast. Sports, comics, local news, classifieds, I read them all. How did I get this way?
In the coming weeks I will share three ways that my parents made reading a priority in our home. I hope this series will be a benefit to you!
- Written by David Baral, illustrations by Patrick Farley, 2018