I have always been obsessed with words. It started when I was three and learned the ABC’s backwards. (So symbolic, really.) At four, I was reading, and I would have been bumped up a grade if I had possessed any social skills.
I still burn the midnight oil more than I’d like to admit, and my dream vacation is lying by a pool, reading with NO interruptions. So how do I have two children that hate to read? What have I done wrong?
I mentioned my concern to my auntie, who has taught 2nd grade for years. “What should I do?” I asked.
“Read to them,” she said.
“But my teenager is fifteen,” I said.
“Read to him anyway.” She told me about an education conference she attended where the key note speaker and bestselling author, John Reynolds Gardiner, admitted that he hated reading as a boy. His mother followed him around reading to him. He didn’t read his first novel until he was nineteen, but his mother had always read to him before he went to bed.
Gardiner would later write books for young boys and his classic, Stonefox, has sold more than three million copies. My aunt said that she always read the book to her class at school and that it was such a page turner that her students begged her to keep reading it. Students who read it on their own read it within a day. It’s about a young boy who enters a dogsled race to save his family farm. I’m planning on checking it out next time I’m at the library.
Anyway, I took my auntie’s advice. The results were both miraculous and hysterical.
Do your kids enjoy reading? What have you done to keep them reading?