I read before bed almost every evening. It helps me to unwind and become sleepy. My husband can always tell when I have an exceptionally good book, because I stay up past my usual bedtime to continue reading. In fact once as a child, I stayed up all night reading a good book with a flashlight. I did not sleep very long and because of it, woke up feeling ill. My mother allowed me to stay home from school that day and after a good morning of sleep, I felt fine. Then I was busted, because no illness resolves that quickly. I had to fess up that I stayed up reading a book. I guess it could have been for a worse reason. I have always loved to read, but for others the interest is not present.
With the technology overload these days as well as the ability to binge watch shows and movies from all of our electronic devices, reading has declined even more. Reading is essential for children of all ages, but important even for adults. We have to find a way to revive interest in books. When I was a child, we had a reading program that rewarded us with free pan pizzas for reading a goal number of books. Reading is essential in this world; we must read menus, signs, instructions, reports and correspondence. Most jobs require some form of reading. While learning the basics is essential, there are so many other reasons to encourage reading.
The benefits of reading are numerous. Children who read outside of school tend to be higher achievers, more confident, more imaginative and less reliant on others for entertainment. Children who read are often better able to communicate their feelings and needs. Reading enables a calm and quiet time where only the mind is stimulated. Reading exercises the brain and also lengthens concentration time. Reading teaches everyone about the world and cultures around them. They can learn about different ways of life, ideas and believes that may make them a more open-minded and tolerant person.
Some ways to encourage reading among the whole family are as follows:
· Set aside a set reading time each day for everyone in the family.
· Take a trip to your local library to participate in the reading programs.
· Allow children to choose their own book to read.
· Pick a topic, have every family member read everything they can about it, and then have a family discussion about it.
· Set goals and reward your child for reading a set number of books.
· Ask your child to read you a story.
· Make a themed scavenger hunt out of topics from a book you read together.
· Travel to a place that they read about.
Enjoy a good book, starting today!
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