Friday, June 10, 2011

On Reading to Children

Recently, I wrote a blog post on the impact of my mother's love of reading and our visits to the public library on my own passion for reading. Since my mother and father were divorced when I was very young, I didn't have a male influence, but early in my career as an educator, I read a research study on the impact of a father reading to a child on the child's reading development.

My son will graduate from high school on June 18th, the day before Father's Day. My husband read to my son for most of his early years, but I was the one who read to him nightly -- until he was a freshman in high school! We love it! Some of our most cherished memories are of piling up in the bed together to read the next chapter in the His Dark Materials trilogy, or the Harry Potter books, or the Lord of the Rings books. This summer, we have our reading list and though I won't be reading aloud to him, we'll still be reading and talking together about the books. In the fall, my son will go off to college and study to be a writer.

Last Sunday, I watched a wonderful segment on Sunday Morning about a father who read to his daughter every night from the time she was in fourth grade through her first day of college. She received a degree in English Literature. The video clip is below and I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it. Of course, this story of a father and daughter parallels my story of a mom and son, but the overarching theme is the impact reading aloud -- just 15 minutes a day -- can have on children.

Reading Rockets has several great articles on fathers and reading: The Role of Fathers in Their Child's Literacy Development: K-3, Boys and Books, and DadCast podcast from iTunes for the busy dad who wants to learn more about literacy, what good reading instruction looks like in the classroom, and award-winning children's book authors.

No comments: