Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Raising Readers - Part I

Why read?

Early on, Dan and I decided that it would be a priority for our children to learn to read, and read well. Our initial priority was simply because we wanted our children to read scripture.   God chose to inspire holy men to write His words, and to direct us - his people- to read, and follow it.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"  Matthew 4:4
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."   
2 Timothy 3:14-16

When Isaiah was about 4, he began asking about how he could learn this or that.  Dan's response was
 "Learn to read.  If you learn to read, you can learn anything there is to learn."  
How true this has proven to be!  A whole new world opens when children learn to read.  Isaiah began to discover this a the age of four when he could read his field guide to himself and distinguish between the types of birds in the backyard.  Now, much of the boys' play is derived from what they read.  How much better to read and imagine what life was like on an island for the Swiss Family Robinson than to watch TV and have it all acted out for you?

Through living books, historical and fictional figures and characters like Daniel Boone, Leif Erickson, Aslan, and Peter Rabbit all come alive in the imagination of a child.  Creativity and productivity are fostered.  What delight and enjoyment they share through discussion, through play.  The friendship and relationship the brothers share is fostered in large part by words.  The words read from the pages of their favorite books that they share, and the words that have become part of their vocabulary that are used to converse and to communicate.

Children's comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and conversation abilities can be drastically advanced simply through reading.  With that, the ability to read and understand scripture is fostered as well.  How spectacular to read a passage of scripture and be able to discuss it with your son who has read it on his own.  A different perspective often, through the eyes of a child, but sometimes the depth than can be grasped is astounding.

A book.  A simple pleasure.  Cheap, nearly always free.  It can be taken anywhere.  We see our boys often lost in a world of imagination in the backseat of the mini-van.  Silent chuckles, smiles, sometimes tears seen in the rearview mirror.  "It makes the time pass faster", they say.  "Here Squeaky!  Read this one next!"  "Mama, my favorite story is Elijah Restores the Widow's Son".
I have no greater joy....
I pray this is only the beginning...

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...