Reading will significantly enhance your child’s chances of success. Reading is the great equalizer and can put you on the same level with just about anybody, anywhere. Reading can take you to places you’ll never go and let you see things you’ve never seen before. Reading can educate the uneducated. Besides, reading can be fun!
Like many families in the 1960’s, we had one car and Daddy was the only driver in the house. My father served as the chauffeur for the entire family, and particularly for my mother. Mommy got around town more than most of her friends that drove, because my father would drive her everywhere. Daddy would drive Mommy to her destination, wait for her in the car, and enjoy himself while waiting because he always had a book. He never went anywhere without a book! Daddy viewed driving his wife, waiting for her (cell phones didn’t exist) and driving her home as an opportunity; an opportunity to entertain himself through reading and often getting smarter at the same time.
While my father only had a high school education, he was one of the smartest men you could ever meet. You see my Daddy was an avid reader and he loved to read history, biographies and books on how-to-do something. He read books on many things such as building a back porch, laying bricks, fixing a roof, and plumbing. Of course his many talents broadened to include carpentry, masonry, roofing and plumbing.
Mommy worked at the University of Chicago Divinity School and Daddy took pleasure in conversing with these world-class professors on the Bible and the issues of the day. Because of his reading, his knowledge on subjects was vast and he could converse with just about anybody on anything.
Daddy’s reading was contagious, and parents who read tend to have children that read. Far too many parents are spending precious family time in front of a TV or a computer, and their children are picking up on these habits. Because my father was a reader, I became a reader. And because my wife and I are readers, our son and daughter are avid readers too.
From my parents humble beginnings and without a college degree between them, they both are smiling down on us right now with the pride of having grandchildren graduating from the finest universities in the world. Reading can change generations.
Regardless of your reading habits, opportunity is all around you. Parents should be the role model for their children and with reading, it’s no different. If you read, and your child sees you reading, there’s a good chance your child will be a reader. And if you’re not, consider any of these ideas to get you started;
- Go to your local library and get a library card. While you’re there, ask about any reading programs and set a reading goal.
- Determine a subject of interest to you, and read a book on that subject.
- Find a place that you would like to learn about or visit, and read a book about that place.
- Determine something that you would like to learn to do, read a book on it and try to do it.
- Have a family reading time without the television.
And if you need assistance with your reading skills, seek out a literacy program at a library near you. The key is to find something to read that is interesting to you. Initially, it’s more important that you read than what you read.
Before you know it, you’ll discover all kinds of things that you wanted to know, and that’s only the beginning. Your child will become a reader with you as a role model. Reading can give you hope. Reading gives you the ability to learn. Reading can bring about generational change in families. Reading is one of the most precious gifts that you can give your child.