15
Nov
12

tip: read to children

My children are my guinea pigs. My children are my laboratory. Over the course of 16 years of parenting, I have come to realize it’s nothing more than a great experiment. I have poured into their beakers my ideas, dreams, thoughts, philosophies. That has caused a unique chemical reaction with each individual child’s inborn traits. Life has turned the heat up on the Bunsen burner through outside circumstances. It’s all very thrilling. Experimental. And highly unstable. I advise you to wear protective eye gear around us.

Trial and error has been a good teacher to me over the years. Mostly as it pertains to error, but if there is any one area where I have had consistent and amazing results in my specimen, it’s been with stories. I read to them as infants. Let them chew on board books, practicing the hinging codex move until it became second nature. Open book. Close book. Open book. Close book.

I raised them with books all over the house. They saw me reading. I took them to libraries. I read to them. Out loud. From the beginning of their existences, I read to them all. And guess what? They all LOVE reading. They actually get in trouble for reading, but that’s a blog for another time.

They not only love reading, they live it. Stories come alive to them. Some where deep in their minds and souls. They weep over characters. They run around in the yard pretending to be in their books. They tell other children about their books like little lore masters in astonishing detail.

Long after the days when they can and do read heaps of books to themselves, I read to these grown ones as well. Let us not neglect the oral tradition. There is something primal about having a story artfully and passionately read aloud to you. I did this to my kids. In my lab. I injected them with this serum called literacy. It somehow mutated and produced super soldiers who not only could read stories, but loved reading stories, loved learning, independently pursued some Platonic cave of wonders without having to be told to want to. Self motivated learners came from invested readers came from helpless little tots being held captive with a book on my knee.

OK, call it brain washing. If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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