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Read to Your Children


As most homeschoolers realize, we cannot expect the public school system to effectively teach our kids.  Reading is a case in point: 20% of high school seniors are functionally illiterate at the time of graduation. If our children don’t have strong reading comprehension skills, much less basic literacy skills, they will be locked out of numerous career fields, as well as the higher education institutions which serve as gatekeepers to many of those fields.  Worse, our children will be unlikely to become lifelong learners, as they’ll be limited in their ability to seek out and comprehend information which they would want answers to.

With regard to higher education, children need to develop a love for reading, and read voraciously to best position themselves for admission into selective colleges (if that is desired), and to excel in them once they are on campus.  While many students may be able to slide through the public education system getting good grades by simply regurgitating information and working hard to win favor with their teachers, the standardized tests which screen out so many applicants from selective colleges actually test reading comprehension and vocabulary.

Whether or not you want your child to be able to attend a selective college, reading should be central to their education.  Sadly, most parents aren’t helping enable their children in this regard, but many are inhibiting them through their actions and inaction.  However, it is fairly simple for you as a parent to help your child build a love for reading, and to enable them to develop their reading skills to their fullest potential.

Parents should begin by reading to their children as early as possible.  Reading to children spurs creativity, promotes longer attention spans, and develops communication and language skills. Reading to children foments in them a desire to learn, making them eager to learn to read. Reading to children also strengthens the parent-child bond, which in and of itself should be motivation enough for parents to read to their children.

When parents present reading as a form of enjoyment, as an end unto itself, then children are able to turn their ability to read into an enjoyable habit, developing the reading comprehension skills and vocabulary that will help them academically and professionally.  One way to do this is to continue to read to children even after they learn to read for themselves.  Parents should also read to themselves for enjoyment.  When children see their parents reading for enjoyment, they will want to emulate them.  Don’t waste your evenings watching TV, and don’t allow your children to waste their evenings away watching TV.  If you have a TV, unplug it.  Better yet, get rid of your TV.  It is a distraction, and it hinders learning.

Finally, do not send your kids off to government schools, keep them in the home, and take their education into your own hands (or put it in their hands).  Government schools, with 20-30 kids in a classroom, continuous disruptions and mundane lesson plans do not excite children about reading, but they do often make children view reading as a chore to be endured.  At home, you don’t need to force reading upon your child when they are not ready or prepared for it.  However, if you read to them, and make reading enjoyable, when they are ready they will learn to read far more quickly and effectively than they would in a government school.


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2 Responses to " Read to Your Children "

  1. east69 says:

    Parents should pay attention to their child’s learning. Start with a reading habit. How? Try to visit. Thanks!

  2. Paisley says:

    I love allowing my little guy curl up in my arms as I get in my evening reading. It’s good to know that I’m doing him good.

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