Be a Reader Yourself
© Beverley Paine, 2004
As a writer I read all day. I read until my eyes are tired and I need to rest them. When I was a child I read other people's stories. Now I write them. I write fiction and non-fiction. I love playing with language. It excites me. I married a man who isn't a writer. He doesn't read as much as me because he isn't excited by words and language the way I am. He loves to build and sell things. However, he spends his day reading too. He reads instructions, catalogues, store policies, magazine articles, news items and advertisements. He reads to learn about his job, to work efficiently, and for pleasure. Our children have grown up in a home immersed in every day reading.
It's really quite simple. If you want your child to love reading, if you want them to be a reader, you must be a reader too. When you read you send a message to your child that reading is valuable and useful, no matter what reason you have for reading. If you didn't read a thing at home your child would grow up knowing that reading isn't important in life. It may not be important in you life, or perhaps even his, but think of the opportunities he would surely miss, all the closed doors that would block his progress through life...
If you are like my husband and fall asleep three pages into a novel, or keep reading the same line over and over again when reading a heavy reference book, you will need to make sure you have plenty of reading material around the house that you like. This may be volumes of short stories - great for reading at cuppa time; or comic books. I love books by Leunig and Gary Larson. They can be enjoyed by everyone in the family and make a visit to the toilet a hoot! Getting children hooked on books from an early age doesn't have to mean reading aloud endless fairy tales and fables... think outside the square and share things that you enjoy.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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