December 05, 2010

Family Matters

by Glynis M. Belec
I have spoken a few times at homeschool support groups or at community workshops and so forth about the importance of involving family early in the reading process. No matter what we say about the importance of reading, if we don't model the desired trait (reading for fun) our little darlings won't do it. No amount of do as I say, not as I do wisdom will matter. Children pattern themselves after us and for the most part, they do as we do.

I don't watch television much but tonight I caught an episode of Super Nanny - that terrific, wise woman who flies into the homes of the not so rich and famous and, within an hour transforms and reforms wee rascals of every ilk.

On the show this evening I picked up on one sage piece of advice she was giving to the floundering parents - "you child is becoming a little you. Make sure the behaviour you exhibit now is one you want to see later in life."

Hmmm...I thought as I pondered the state of literacy in many children. I think perhaps these wise words from Super Nanny, might have great bearing on some young minds today. I see so many children come into my classroom with such poor reading habits. There seems to be little love for books or just plain reading for fun. The children who I tutor privately definitely have some limitations academically, but the common thread is that they do not (most never have) read for pleasure. In turn, words on a page become a chore and then every subject is affected. Even those with a penchant for problem solving and numbers might flounder because reading instructions is too difficult. I see that too often.

One idea to encourage the love of reading that I have passed on to parents is to set aside a family time 1 to 3 times a week where activity grinds to a halt, televisions and computers are turned off, then everyone grabs a book and reads for an hour. Even little ones will enjoy this special time and it begins a formation of good reading habits. It just warms my heart to see a child absorbed in a book.

I am still amazed how God has taken a mere 26 letters and has given us endless combinations that we call words. What a blessing to be able to call myself a writer and combine words that make sense (well most of the time!)

Onward and upward. Thanks Super Nanny!


  1. What a great post. I also homeschooled and I am a public school teacher now that my kids are grown. I see this trend all the time and i agree that modelling habits like reading really works. Super cute picture, by the way!

  2. As a retired teacher, now Nanna, I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for saying it so well.
    Sharon Espeseth

  3. I practically grew up in the public library and find so much pleasure in a good book. Encouraging and helping others experience the joy of reading is a huge privilege.

    Blessings on you.

  4. Hi Glynis:

    You are right. If you can't read or don't read well, your ability in any written subject will be undermined.

    Time to turn of the telly!


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