Raising a Reading Family

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A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature 

by Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano

 

 

Consider a small child sitting on his mother’s lap while she reads him a picture book. The picture book opens to a width that effectively places the child at the center of a closed circle – that of mother’s body, arms, and the picture book… That circle, so private and intimate, is a place apart form the demands and stresses of daily life, a sanctuary in and from which the child can explore the many worlds offered in picture books. Despite all of our society’s technological advances, it still just takes one child, one book, and one reader, to create this unique space, to work this everyday magic.

― Martha V. Parravano

Perhaps there’s nothing more important than raising a family who loves books and reading. Sure children read in school, but the foundation starts at home. Reading at home shouldn’t be an afterthought or a burden, instead it should be a joy to spread the love of reading to last a lifetime. Being in the classroom, I know which students have reading support at home. Normally, reading thirty to sixty minutes, depending upon the age, is homework each night. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be homework. Reading at home should be enjoyed so much that you have to tell your child to turn the book light off and go to sleep. Of course, it takes work to raise a family of readers.

A Family of Readers is just one book from the many books that promote family reading. It states in the jacket: A Family of Readers is a book for readers, people who need books as much as food or air. The editors are from The Horn Book Magazine, which publishes information about books for children and young adults. The book is divided into four sections: reading to them, reading with them, reading on their own, and leaving them alone. I like this book, because it provides many book examples and brief descriptions for each category. The bibliography provides the books and additional reading resources.

The Horn Book Family Reading Resources 

The Horn Book Recommendations

 Thirteen Steps to Raise a NON-reader: 

1. Never read where you child can see you. 
2. Put a TV or computer in their bedroom. 
3. Correct your child every time they mispronounce a word. 
4. Schedule activities after school so your child will never be bored. 
5. Once your child can read independently, throw out the picture books. They’re for babies. 
6. Don’t play board games together. Too dull. 
7. Give little rewards for reading. 
8. Don’t expect  your children to enjoy reading. Kids’ books are for teaching vocabulary, proper study habits, and good morals. 
9. Buy only 40 watt bulbs for your lamps. 
10. Under no circumstances read your child the same book over and over. One time is enough. 
11. Never allow your child to listen to books on tape or CD; that’s cheating. 
12. Make sure your kids only read books that are “challenging”. Easy books are a complete waste of time. That goes double for comics and MAD magazine. 
13. Absolutely, positively no reading in bed. 

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4 thoughts on “Raising a Reading Family

    ChrisF said:
    October 28, 2011 at 2:17 am

    ”2. Put a TV or computer in their bedroom. ”

    Oh, put a computer there! Just be sure to boot them outside when it’s sunny!

    Worked for us – our mum would simply remove and hide the power cables!

    🙂

      Caroline responded:
      October 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm

      Well, that does the trick to hopefully get kids outside. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

    Dayle Fraschilla said:
    October 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Excellent, excellent post!

    5. Once your child can read independently, throw out the picture books. They’re for babies.

    We talked about that one a bit on one of your other posts, but my daughter still has her board books from when she was a year old. Every so often, we go through her books and choose ones to donate, but there are some that she just will not give up!

    10. Under no circumstances read your child the same book over and over. One time is enough.

    Oh boy! I can’t tell you how many times we have read the same book over and over and over and over and over . . . again! To the point where my daughter could “read” the book to me — long before she learned how to read!

    11. Never allow your child to listen to books on tape or CD; that’s cheating.

    Tag books are awesome too. Kids can point to the words individually, have each page read to them and even play games. 🙂

    12. Make sure your kids only read books that are “challenging”. Easy books are a complete waste of time. That goes double for comics and MAD magazine.

    Reading is reading is reading! I don’t understand why so many people can’t seem to get that!

      Caroline responded:
      October 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      Very true, reading is indeed reading. I got the list from a book, but I almost wanted to change it into a positive format about what parents should do to encourage readers. Any side comments or negative feedback may influence a child not to read. Reading is everywhere and should always be celebrated. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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