As adults we know this: If you want
to learn to drive, you need access to a car. If you want to learn to cook, you
need access to a stove. If you want to learn to paint, you need access to
Letís apply this to children and
reading: If you want them to learn to read, you need to give them access to
With this in mind, and as we head toward a time of
the year when many families are involved in gift-giving, I urge you to
consider directing part of this effort toward giving the gift of reading to
your child. Yes, children do need toys so that they can play. They also need
books if they are to learn to read.
There is enough time so that you can contact members
of your extended family. Perhaps this can be a theme that encompasses all the
children in your family. That which is important to parents becomes important
to children. If parents make reading and books important, their children will
pick up on this and make it important, too.
Once you give the books, you can maximize their
- instituting regular reading time at your home. Everyone
reads, either individually, in pairs, or as a group.
- taking books with you when you travel.
- spending more time reading than watching television or
playing video and computer games.
- planning regular visits to the public library to check
out books. It is not necessary to own all the books one reads.
- getting some books on tape to listen to during long car
- having regular book discussions at dinner time or other
family time. Each person in the family talks about the book s/he is reading.
Regular talks of this type will allow people to fill each other in on
progress of plot and characters. This is especially important for younger
children, as they aspire to be like their older family members.
By doing this, you are laying the foundation for
children to be lifelong learners and lifelong readers.