I have three very different children. Like me, my oldest loves to read. In school his teacher is constantly reminding him to put the book away and pay attention. He reads on the bus, in the car, in front of the TV. . . . We even catch him reading when we ask him to go from point A to point B. Somehow, he attempts to sneak a point A and a half in there and read a little more. He’s been reading chapter books since he was four; all he wanted for his eighth birthday was a Kindle. The joy of reading has always been within him.
My middle son loves books. He loves maze books and dot-to-dots. He adores being read to and paging through picture books. Nearly every evening we read humorous poetry together. But reading words hasn’t been his thing. He’s the type of child who needs to study and be certain he can do something exactly correct before he’ll jump in and do it, which is why the past few days have been so amazing for us.
After years of encouraging him to read to us, he asked to read a book to his sister before her nap last weekend. It was a simple board book, but he read every word to her with such pride. Every night this week he’s helped me read books to her. Most books are familiar in rhyme or repetition, but the joy I see on his face as he says the words he is certain are on the page is enlightening and fills me with such pride.
My youngest, at only two, favors active books. She wants to touch books and perform the stories. She wants to hear different ways a story can be read, which is why she loves it when we all take turns reading with her.
Books enlighten. Books encourage. Books raise esteem and help readers become lost in fantasies. This week kicks off Read Across America and, as we always do, our family will pause on March 2 and have thirty minutes of reading in Theodor Geisel’s (Dr. Seuss) memory and celebration of all he brought to children.
How is your family celebrating Read Across America?