I am a huge fan of literacy and reading, all the time. My current goal for my son and I is to read 10 books a day when we are home together. I read no less than 3 books to each of my children at nap time and bedtime on most days of the week. Even we have days where it is just too late or the kids or too cranky or tired for us to attempt our reading, but this is a rare situation. I have books all over my house in dire need of organization. (This is to come this year). Some we could definitely give away or part with as they are baby books and we are done with that stage in our life! And some my kids are not quite old enough for yet. I plan on reading to my children aloud long after they are able to read for themselves.
I love reading for many reasons, but one of the things I love most is that allows you to go into another world, to imagine and dream. It opens up doors and windows of opportunities of the difficult things to talk about with your children. I have had conversations about greed and sharing and grief and even sexual abuse ( a conversation, I believe, all parents need to have with their children). These are conversations that would not have come so easy were it not for books. The topic of grief and abuse do not just pop up in our day to day living, but these issues most definitely need to be talked about. The books we read are of course age and developmentally appropriate. I’m not saying you need to pick up a copy of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or or Gone With the wind and start reading it to your impressionable 6 and 7 year old.
Not only does reading provide opportunities for me to have difficult conversations with my children, but it also provides inspiration for us as adults. I am sure you have heard the old adage ” I learned everything I need to know from Kindergarten.” Well, that is certainly true to an extent. Especially, if you are in any type of school environment, you have to learn to share and learn that you do not always get your way and you do not always get to go first and you are not always going to get picked for something you want. You learn that you cannot eat ice cream everyday and that to get better at things you have to practice, a lot. You also learn that you are capable of so much more than you think. You learn the magic word of “yet”. Just because you cannot do something now, it just means you cannot do it “yet“. You learn all these things and more in Kindergarten. Certainly it does not end there. We are nearing the end of my eldest’s year in kindergarten and she certainly has not mastered all these things, “yet“.
Reading allows you,as an adult, to learn all these things as well. Most adults have not mastered the above lessons. When I read to my children, it allows me to remember the struggles of childhood and it allows me to go on an imagination journey with my children. It allows me to share favorite stories of my childhood as well as my favorite physical books I loved as a child. Even though we are talking about children’s books, these books have far reaching effects in so many ways. While I am reading to my kids, I still learn from children’s books each and every day.
It is my passion and love for reading and literacy that has stemmed me to write this piece. This will be the start of a series, I would like to call Life Lessons from my library. Whenever I find a book particularly inspirational or that we can all learn from as adults, I am going to share the life lessons from these books. If you have any books that you would like for me to discuss, please let me know in the comments. I am excited to go on this reading journey with you! Check out my first post on the series!
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