Finding Time for Reading
© Beverley Paine, 2004
If you are like me and have trouble finding time to read to yourself or to each other, make time . We make time for The Simpsons , for the friendly chat that goes for half an hour at the supermarket, for waiting patiently at the bus stop, for the laundry, or for making dinner. How many adults do you know who continue to read beyond the compulsory school years? If children are going to grow up as readers then they need to see that reading is valued more than entertainment; it is an essential element in daily life.
Once upon a time we didn't have phones and life was just as full and exciting. Once upon a time we didn't have books and managed quite well. But would we go without phones now? Even governments consider them 'essential' items. So are books! Make sure your house is stocked with things to read, and make the time to read them. By setting aside time to read, and letting your child see your read, you tacitly inform your child that reading is important. No amount of lecturing, browbeating, or preaching can make that point as well.
In addition to making time for reading, create reading nooks in the home: comfy open places where shared reading can take place, to little hideaways where a person can be left undisturbed for hours with a favourite book. Make reading a past-time that is pure pleasure!
I believe that the worst thing that can happen to a child is to associate reading with school work, as an activity that is done during 'lesson' time, or to 'learn' something. We learn all the time, even when we aren't studying or doing 'lessons'. Life is one long continuous lesson. Learning is as natural as breathing. We don't think about breathing. In the same way we don't think about learning. We simply do it. And reading can occur in much the same way; unnoticed, spontaneous, and for a real, rather than contrived, purpose immediately relevant to the reader.
It's easy to incorporate reading into everyday life and to gently encourage your children to practice their developing reading skills without too much fuss.
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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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