Thursday, March 4, 2010

Raising Bookworms

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?


gahome2mom said...

As a homeschool mom of five daughters, developing the love for reading was easy until the past few years when video games took over. lol

My first two daughters were avid readers. My second two think many of the books are boring or stupid for their age group. I have volunteered for books online to review for them but they are relentless. They said they write better. (teenagers)

My 17-year-old will read Holocaust books. I am still trying with my 14-year-old. I think it will be easier with my four year old. She had me read Alice in Wonderland to her yesterday.

I appreciate your review. I am encouraged to keep on fighting! I have four grandchildren and I hope they will love reading books.


JP said...

Reading books to children like you have done and continue to do today are the only way to prime their minds to continue reading as they grow.
It is a bit of a challenge in these electronic days to encourage book reading but it's a valuable prize if it becomes a lifelong pleasure.
Btw, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the movie opens March 19th.

GPS said...

I really believe if they start out with a love of books it will always be there and if they take a break for video games they'll return to reading sooner or later.

Rachel Lynne said...

Hey Gale! I was a bookwarm but my daughter isn't. It makes me sad but she is coming around. I think for her it was that fact that for three years or more she needed glasses and nobody knew it! Since getting glasses last year she has been reading more but, weird child that she is, she likes non fiction! I'm constantly presenting her with great fiction I loved as a kid, little by little she is coming around. She just started the Warriors series but I think that is because it involves cats!
She will however listen to me read for hours. We've read an adaptation of Morte d'Arthur, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Dr. Doolittle, The Magic Treehouse series and more books on yucky things like leeches than I can count, LOL.
I home school so we are always reading something and like you, we have more books and bookcases than any other furniture :)

GPS said...

Rachel, I had the same problem with my daughter when she was little. By the time we discovered she needed glasses she could only read the big E on the charts. She must take after me, my sight is horrible.

Anonymous said...

Well, just now, my family is cats. They do love reading; it requires me to form a lap and remain still. They just don't read much themselves. They typically prefer TV.

Now, my mom got me into reading by reading around me. She was rarely far away from a book -- she's the same way now. Some of my earliest memories are of afternoons in the library with her. When I was a little older, she gave me some brand new Judy Blume books for my birthday, and I still remember unwrapping the paper and removing the dust jacket to see the hard cover underneath. Those were good times!

Mom started me thinking of reading as a special time -- something you could do to relax and have fun, and something I could do with her. To this day, we enjoy sharing books and book recommendations to each other!

Riley Quinn said...

My mom was a big reader (still is) and she got me started on Nancy Drew mysteries at a young age. It also helped that one of my aunts was a teacher. They both nurtured my love of reading. Lucky for me, our little town had a library branch and I could walk up as many times a week as I wanted to get new books.

I don't have kids but my niece is a huge reader and luckily, has similar tastes as me. I try to search out new authors that she maybe hasn't tried. I always get a huge kick out of finding a new book or series she hasn't read and her loving it.

GPS said...

My mother liked to read too. I'm sure that was an influence on me. Children tend to imitate their parents. It seems to be something we've passed on.