Families are strengthened when parents value reading skills and teach their children to enjoy reading. The ability to read is one of the greatest skills that parents and teachers can help children to develop. Being able to read quickly with understanding will help children to become better students and more valuable in the work place.
Regan McMahon wrote an article entitled "How to Raise a Reader" and gave nine ways to nurture a love of reading. The nine ways are: 1) Read aloud; 2) Savor the series; 3) Grab onto a genre; 4) Feed the favorite-author addiction; 5) Count on the Classics; 6) Find books about the things your kid loves; 7) Funny is fine; 8) Comics are OK; 9) Make reading a family value.
"Fit reading into your family lifestyle. Set aside time for reading only - turning off the TV, computer, and cell phone. Encourage focused reading time, either for independent reading or reading aloud. Take preschoolers to story time hours at libraries and bookstores. For older kids, a parent-kid book club can be fun. Read to kids at bedtime. Provide time and space for your kids to read for pleasure in the car (if they don't get car sick!), on vacation, after homework is done, on their own before bed. Warning: It could be habit-forming!"
I remember seeing my mother reading; this is one of the strongest memories I have of her. I think that reading a book was one, if not the only, thing my mother did for pure pleasure. She liked cowboy stories, and Zane Grey was one of her favorite authors. Her children followed her example and read also. I wanted my children to value reading and started buying books for them before they could even crawl. All six of them love to read, and they are teaching their own children to love reading. The one Christmas gift that I give to my children and grandchildren every year is a book. This is my way of encouraging reading in the rising generation. Being able to read and valuing that skill strengthens families.