Thanks to the makers of Pine-Sol® for sponsoring my writing. A study shows a clean smelling home can help children succeed, so Pine-Sol® is supporting Reading is Fundamental (RIF) this year. Click “Like” on Pine-Sol®’s Facebook page here and they will donate books to RIF!
I don’t remember books not being in my life.
Growing up, the bottom drawer of my dresser was so full of children’s books that the bottom eventually fell out from the weight.
My mom always had a pile of books on top of the refrigerator from the library, and a few more on the front seat of her car waiting to be swapped out for new ones.
My dad was always reading the newspaper.
We had a set of encyclopedia and a set of childcraft encyclopedia.
Words were my life from early on. In grade school I lived for scholastic book orders. In middle school my mom brought me piles of books home from the library. By high school? I had decided that I wanted to read–and talk about those books–for the rest of my life.
And so I became an English teacher.
I have worked for over a decade encouraging kids to read…to entice them into becoming life-long readers.
The school I work in is filled with students who didn’t have their own books as kids. They come to us behind…because they don’t know what it’s like to have books in their life for fun.
Not a couple years ago, after about 90% of one of my classes failed to do a short assigned reading assignment, I polled the class with this question: “How many of you had your own books as kids and were read to all the time.”
One girl raised her hand (she did the assignment, by the way). I died a little inside.
That same year our school started doing RIF (reading is fundamental), a program that gives students free books.
I was suddenly aware of the gift my parents had given me.
Also that year I found out I was pregnant with my son.
Immediately, I gathered my favorite childhood books and piled them in the room that would be his.
I would sit in the middle of the room and read the books out loud to my dancing fetus.
A year later, I was reading Green Eggs and Ham to a squirmy infant.
Not long after that, we traded the “paper pages” for board books because he wanted to handle them and
gnaw on the book clumsily turn the pages himself.
Now, as a 20-month old, he brings me book after book to read. He points out the letters to me and says some of them. He points out the kitties and the dogs and the moons and the balloons.
I burst with pride when his little finger points at the pictures as I read the words…as he examines each page before we turn it.
I know this is what my parents did. And I know it is a large part of why I became a successful student…and teacher….and writer.
It is never ever too early to start reading with your children. Each time you choose to put down your phone, or step away from your laptop (in my case) to read with your child, you are sending a message about what is important.
Each time your child sees you pick up a book or newspaper instead of watch a reality show? You are showing your child where your priorities are and what you see as valuable.
Your child…and education are important. Show this to your child. Read with him/her.
Don’t forget to click over to Pine-Sol®’s Facebook page to support our children’s success. I was selected for this Pine-Sol® sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.