Kids and Reading: for Parents’ Eyes Only


Happy Sunday everyone! And hopefully, happy Spring too.

A few times this weekend I have had conversations with moms who moan about their child’s ability to read, or lack of desire to read.  It’s nothing new to be asked questions about reading instruction, since it is the day job, but what struck me was how the moms approached reading as something little Johnny or Jane should do well because of school.

Somehow, reading = school.

And that’s a shame.  Really.

As an educator, I admit that the literacy systems in place today do little to encourage the love of reading.  Recently, school has been seen as a business and there are days I feel much more like a data analyst than a teacher.  High stakes testing has accelerated a stressful learning environment that focuses on getting from A to B, not on enjoying the journey of learning.

But when a parent continues that message at home by quizzing Johnny or Jane about what happened in a story just before bed, Johnny and Jane are taking school to sleep.

So here’s my two cents.  Do read with your child before bed.  Get into bed.  Snuggle up.  And read.  That’s it.


See, reading before bed is not so much about the book.  It’s about the time they spend with you.  Taking fifteen minutes to read aloud while sitting together will tell your child that you value them enough to take the time be with them.

It’s about your relationship with your child.

So when Johnny and Jane go to school the next day and are asked to read, they remember spending time with you.  The positive emotions you had while reading together transfers to the school experience.  And a “spoon full of sugar might help the medicine go down.”

Show your child that you value reading.  Let them see you read.  Fill your house with books.  Take them to the library.


But that’s just my two cents.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me.  I’m off to continue The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler with my nine-year old.

Happy Reading!




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I write science fiction, fantasy, and horror while living in a small town in New Jersey with my DH, Munchkin, and two cats: Ripley and Hudson. My latest story can be found in SPACE AND TIME MAGAZINE Issue 129. A long, long time ago, I was a grunt at Tom Monteleone's Borderlands Bootcamp.

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