With February being such a short month, I haven’t begun any new books. I plan to start two new ones and you’ll find out more about them in March. Therefore, for my (slightly belated) nnbnmonthly reading post, I want to share the significance of reading for the human mind and how I have seen that at work in me and my children.
We all know that books take us places and introduce us to worlds we can never physically visit. We also know that they introduce us to concepts and ideas we might not have considered on our own initiative. But have we recognized that reading can add depth and dimension to our ordinary days and, for lack of better terms, multiply our time?
The other day we were driving and the children had brought stacks of books with them for the ride. I heard some giggling coming from the very back of the van and one sibling asked, “what happened?” The giggler proceeded to share a funny antic of Jemima Puddleduck and the inquirer joined in the laughter: “oh yeah!! Jemima!” I continued my listening and then heard my oldest say, “ok, I’m done with this one. Here A, pass it to Shi when you’re done with it. Shi, pass it to Q after that.” “Ok!” Was the answer as books started floating back and forth over heads in the van. I smiled to myself; these stories had come to life to them.
Throughout our day the children will come up and start talking to me about the plots, characters and crises in the books they are reading. They will re-enact the adventures and model their own after the literary ones. And best of all, they are introduced to experiences and worlds that would otherwise be untouched by them. Where else could they become well acquainted with hundreds of unique personalities and be presented with countless situations where their reasoning skills must be challenged? And when we read together we share in these literary memories and adventures together and reflect on them together- all in the course of one day!
Personally, I would live in school if I could. I thrive in the academic environment and I’ve been known to say, “if I could get another degree it would be in…” But that’s for another season of life so I read instead. I long to time travel and since that’s not feasible I read instead. There are places in the world where I still want to visit and until I do I read. And all of this can happen through one book or in one day, depending on how many books in which I read in one day.
If you are reading this blog, you’re probably already a reader- fantastic! If you’re not so much of a reader- grab a book and dive in. If you are a parent, let your children see you reading even if they are not reading yet themselves. Talk about when they do begin to read and set books out for them to look during reading time. Point to words while you read to them and ask them what they think the word says. These things will make reading more natural to them. In our busy world, let’s set aside time to read.