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Read together

September 7th, 2007

reading together
In our day of audio and video – ipods, mp3s, HD, etc., etc. – reading books still has a place in entertainment.

Nothing trains our imagination better than reading. Building vocabulary and writing skills all come from avid reading.

Many families have a habit of reading together before bed time. That is a great way to relax at the end of the day. It also sets up a routine for your younger children to learn it’s time to go to sleep when you finish reading the story.

Here are some more suggestions to encourage more reading together, from the young to older children:

1. If your children are young, your task today is to go to the library and pick out simple books together. We used to come home with no less than 10 books every time we visit the library. Cuddling up and enjoying a story together is a great way to bond any time, not just at bed time. It’s really cheap entertainment!

2. When you read aloud with your children, always read a few levels higher than what they can read on their own. For example, you can read chapter books with your first grader if he does not know how to read a chapter book by himself.

3. If your children are older, we no longer read aloud with them. Your task today is to read a book that they are reading along with them. Your children are usually assigned a reading book for school in their Language Arts class. It’s probably some classic that you read when you were in high school, and don’t remember a thing about. Now is a good time to revisit those books. Get a copy of the same book from the library, and read along with your teenager. Recently, I reread Catcher in the Rye with my son.

Reading the same book gives you common ground for conversation. My son had to read Like Water For Chocolate in high school. I have not read that before. After reading it with him, there were some themes in the book that I felt was inappropriate for him. I casually mentioned the topic and we had a discussion about it.

There was some controversy about the Harry Potter book when it first came out. In order to advise my children appropriately, I read the book. I ended up reading all 7 in the series!

Reading together not only benefits your relationship with your children, it keeps you on your toes. Just because we are no longer in school doesn’t mean we stop learning and appreciating literature.

Photo by Clinton Steeds

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