Friday, January 7, 2011

How to Instill A Love of Reading

I have loved books ever since I was a toddler.  My mother tells stories of when I was 2 or 3 and she had walked in on me "reading" my favorite book.  She thought that she had a genius reader.  I had actually memorized the ENTIRE book, including when to turn the pages.

One of my favorite books was this one.  As you can see, it was WELL LOVED!  One of my nicknames was Mugs, so when my mom found this book, she got it for me.  It is all about a little mouse names Muggins.  I loved that every page had a ladybug and it was a game to try to find his little pal.
My mother read to me constantly.
Later, we moved a bunch and because of it, I missed out on learning phonics and I got behind on reading.  In 2nd grade, I finally put it all together and fell in love with the written word.  My dad, John, made a deal with me.  He said that he would get me any book that I would read.  I begged for this book at the bookstore.

I read the entire thing before he got to the car!  I loved this story about a little old lady who went around and found other people abandoned items and opened a store with them.  It may sound funny, but I wanted to be her.  I was going to grow up and be a shopping bag lady.  The idea that you could just find these "treasures" and then sell them really intrigued me.

So, how do you get your kids to love reading?  Read to them!  Read to them before bed, on the potty (while training), in the car, waiting at the doctor, anywhere.  Instead of letting them "plug" into some game or TV show, have them read.  What about for every minute they read, the get a minute of game time?

Another thing that helps my crew is a weekly visit to the local library.  Last summer's reading program that they offered was so great.  They checked off bingo squares by doing book activities and when they got a "Bingo", they got entered to win cool prizes.  My 7 yo increased her reading level by 1.5-2 grade levels and my 10 yo is reading 500 page books.  They beg to go now!
So, a love of reading starts with you!
Read on,


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