Passing down a Passion for Reading

I love to read.  If I had a free day to do whatever I wanted…reading would be at the top of my list.  However, at this point in my life, as hard as I try, and as much as I want to, I struggle to find time to read. One book I did recently devour was Raising a Reader by Jennie Nash. This book had short, easy to read chapters–which worked great for me. I just stuck the book in my purse and would pull it out while waiting at the doctor’s office or if I got to a meeting early and had a few minutes to spare.

I think the reason I loved this book so much is that I could completely relate to the author’s overwhelming desire to impart her passion for reading on her children. She shared fun, meaningful stories about her struggles and successes in “raising readers”. She also included helpful advice and resources at the end of each chapter. At the end of the book she even included helpful reading lists for children of all ages (Great Books to Give for a Baby Shower, Books to Read Aloud on a Rainy Day by Firelight, Series That Hooked My Kids a Little Later, etc).

I guess that, simply put, I loved this book because it was entertaining and fun to read, yet also gave me great ideas to use with my own kids. I look forward to referring to it for years to come as I (hopefully) raise my kids to be readers.

My oldest is about to turn 4 years old and although I’m always wishing that I could spend more time reading with her, I do what I can, which for the moment means we read 3-4 books before bedtime every night. Sometimes I let her choose the books, and sometimes I choose the books and let her pick the order we read them in. I have to admit it’s always a struggle for me on the nights she chooses, if she doesn’t choose books that I consider “good.” However, I think a love of reading in general is more important to cultivate at this point than good taste in books, so I grin and bear it and struggle through princess story after princess story.

On most nights she asks to read “one more” and while part of me is so excited that she has the desire to read more, there’s always that other part of me looking forward to the kids being in bed and finally having a moment to relax. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to limit book time. I think it makes that time more special and desired. I also think it’s great to build it in as part of your daily routine. For us, it works perfectly right before bedtime. It gives her a chance to wind down and gives me a chance to spend one on one time with her while Daddy gets the baby ready for bed. I look forward to our reading time every day. Even on those long, frustrating days when I’ve failed to be patient time and again, once it’s reading time, all is forgotten and we snuggle up together on my bed and just enjoy reading.

So…I’m always looking for new ideas to make reading time with my kids fun and exciting.  How do you make reading with your kids a special time each day? Or, if not reading…what’s something you’re passionate about that you hope to pass down to your kids?

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4 Responses to Passing down a Passion for Reading

  1. Rick Jeldy says:

    While my wife deals in things that matter, in the grand scheme, I operate more in the trivial. As far as the question goes; I can’t wait to start watching movies that I loved as a child with my kids. My daughter and I have tried E.T. and the Princess Bride a few times but, at 4 years old, she just doesn’t seem to have the attention span if it is not animated by Mr. Disney. However, she and I have been able to connect on a musical level. The Cars have a song called Drive that came out 2 decades prior to her arrival. She loves it, and requests it every Thursday morning on the way to preschool. Thursday morning, consequently, happends to be my favorite of the Monday thru Fridays.
    Wrapping this up here…there was a television show called Lost. Watching that with both of my kid’s is going to be a huge payoff for me when the day comes. The frustrating days that have tested my patience, to the point of failure, which my wife has mentioned above, will all be worth their weight many times over when days like that get here.
    As for my Son, well, he is only 9 months old but; if I have anything to say about it he will be requesting songs to be played while in my car in due time also.
    ***I realize this is not my blog so, anything else I should happen to post will be brief…maybe***
    RFJ / Husband 🙂

  2. krissa! i finally found your blog! i love it! and i love rick’s comment! princess bride rules. 🙂 ….this was a great post about raising a reader. i would love to say i am one- reading for me takes work. but i do love me and mace’s reading time at night. she has the same love for princess stories- oye- what do ya do? i just go with it. i try to make it kind of interactive- ask her lots of questions- ‘what’s going on in this picture?’ ‘what happens to captain hook next?’ ‘what do you think it would feel like to fly to neverland? scary? fun?” that kind of thing…that gets her thinking about things. she is 2, so i don’t get detailed answers, but i see her face scrunch up and think hard and then say, “ummmmmm…..fun!” then when we are out playing the next day at the park or wherever i will occasionally bring up the story like “lets run down this hill and pretend we are flying like wendy and tinkerbell.” maybe silly, but she loves it and when i see her fly down the hill with her arms out and a grin on her face its kind of neat to see her little imagination at work. thanks for this great post!

  3. kjeldy says:

    Wendy…or are you Tinkerbell? I love that you guys play make believe together and I hope sometime we can join you at the park to add a few more characters to the “play”. We really do need to get the girls together sometime for a dress up party though. Thanks for all your wonderful comments! 🙂

  4. Bea says:

    I love reading!!! I want my girls to love it too, when I was a teacher I wanted my students to love it too. We read all the time at home, reading a book is a reward, it’s something my girls enjoyed so much that they jump up and down when I say, how about a book? especially if it is a time when we don’t usually read one. We start our day reading the scriptures. We also enjoy storytelling, me and my husband are always making stories up that our girls have gotten used too, like “The three wolves and the monkey” Some day I have to write those down and illustrate them. Anyway, my girls hear so much storytelling at our house that they have started to tell their own stories!! I want to make sure they are happy, if anything I want to love being who they are and show it!

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