children reading

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. 

Videos: Reading inspires children

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I found these videos on which is sponsored through the Library of Congress. These videos captured how reading inspires children and that it can take you anywhere from Hogwarts, Naria, Camelot, to Oz. Watch and share with others.