Building a Love for Reading

child-readingAs a teacher of literature, it is sometimes really hard for me to understand why kids don’t want to read. I love books. Reading is such a wonderful way to grow and learn. My mother sparked my love of reading. I remember seeing her at night totally engrossed in a novel and always wondered what could hold her so captivated. At some point in elementary school I remember staying in from recess because I was so engrossed in the Little House on the Prairie books. When I was ten years old my aspiration in life was to be Laura Ingalls Wilder and live in the “old” days. I have learned so much about history, about diversity and cultures, about love, about family, about friendships, about sacrifice, about life from reading countless books.

But teachers often feel like they are fighting a never ending battle to share their love of reading. More times than not students fight us every step of the way on reading, but you’d be surprised at the enlightment and excitement a group of adolescents show when you start reading out loud to them The Crucible, Night, Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare, or Charles Dickens. They start off fighting us but are then ready for us to read to them every day to get to that anticipated climax or ending. They are little children again on the edge of their seat, quietly listening to the story unfold. I am often left asking myself the questions, “have they ever been read to?”, “Who told them reading is not fun?”, “Why do they not see reading as being so vitally important to learning?”

One of the biggest areas of struggle for students on standardized tests is reading comprehension. They can read the words, but they don’t know how to read. They don’t know to read between the lines, how to infer the deeper meanings of the text, how to interact and learn from the message being taught in the reading. There is so much to be gained from reading, and it starts from the moment we set them in our lap at bedtime to read to them. As their parent we bring reading and the endless amounts of learning that can be gained from it to life every night when we read to them or read with them as they get older and start to read on their own. Whether it’s when they’re young or when they’re older talk to them about what they’ve read. Ask them what they learned, maybe even using the word theme with them. Talk about what they liked and didn’t like about the characters and their choices. Ask them to predict, connect, and reflect as they read. Build a love for books with your child; it really can open a whole new world of opportunity and knowledge to them.

Angela is the working mom writer of Time with A & N. When she’s not trying to encourage her students as a high school teacher to have an appreciation for learning, she’s managing the slightly organized chaos of her life as a wife and mom.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
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  1. Zoey Louise says:

    It is wonderful to see your daughter reading a book that you love and getting so into it :)

  2. wendy p says:

    glad to hear that you are so committed to instilling a love of reading in your students

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