I've always been an avid reader and my children love to read as well. Of course, back in the Dark Ages there were fewer TV shows for kids, no iPods and computers were just a blip on the horizon. Books were a great source of entertainment for us and our love of literature helped us do well academically. Developing good reading and comprehension skills made it easier to understand and assimilate information.
Being a proud grandmother of five, of course I want my grandchildren to love books as much as the rest of us. It got me thinking. What inspired my own kids? Living in a house with more books than furniture must have helped. And reading to them. Children love to imitate their parents. Even before they could actually make out the words, they would pick up a book and "read" it to me.
I know my grandkids are encouraged to read at home, but I wanted to do my part as a grandparent so I keep children's books in my house for visits and sleepovers. When they develop an interest in something, I look for books on that topic. The boys, four and two, discovered dinosaurs and I found a wonderful book called "Oh, Say Can You Say DI-NO-SAUR?" from the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library. Nobody likes to listen to a monotone voice so I try to bring the stories to life by using funny voices. When the boys come over, they go right to their bookcase and pick out what they want me to read.
My granddaughter is older and when she mentioned "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" we took a trip to Barnes & Noble and bought the whole set. She read the entire first book before she went home and the rest within a few days. I buy her magazines about her special interests, even celebrities because I think anything that develops an interest in reading is worthwhile.
The children are very excited that mom-mom is writing books. They want to read my stories and they're disappointed when I tell them - not until you're 21. I may have to write a children's story just for them.
What do you do to encourage a love of reading in your family?