Growing a Reader

I remember being a young teacher and working with a family who had three children that attended our school. I also had a working relationship with their mother, who at the time held two positions at our school. She was the Title 1 teacher and the Librarian. Her kids were great writers, solid if not superb math students, and were voracious readers.

Her daughters would also watch a PBS program that was all about math and how kids could do fun math challenges and games. They would ask to write their fun math challenges on the overhead project. They had a natural ability to communicate and loved to learn.

These three children always had a book in their hands. They had high vocabularies and wrote well-developed stories.

Not only were the kiddos bright, but they were kind and considerate. I recall asking my friend what her secret was. She mentioned they would have supper together, read together, and went to church and Sunday School. I was a young mother and I knew what I saw in her children, I wanted to create in my own children.

I was also taking classes at the time, and one of the classes I was taking was about classroom management. We were using a book by Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. As I was reading all of that, I learned how I could control the outcome of events, and that I was not just a victim of circumstance.

With this friend’s advice, and what I was learning in the book/class, I decided that my kiddos would have a nightly routine where we would read together. I also made sure they had plenty of books. We would go to the library and bring home numerous books. Since I was a teacher, I would utilize my Scholastic Book Clubs to order books at a reduced price. I wanted my kids to be excited about learning, I wanted them to be readers, and I wanted them to love the adventures books could provide them with.

Our family was already going to church, the kids were in Sunday School, and we were already having family meals together. So, I thought, why not see if this is the magic recipe for the kids to do well in school and hopefully in life.

I think it worked. All three of my children did well in school. They learned the magic books can provide them with. They learned that family time is important. They learned to keep God in their heart. They all graduated from high school in the top of their classes and two have completed college and are gainfully employed, and the youngest is in her freshman year and doing well.

Some of you will take this advice, and others may think some of this is nonsense. I would never say that I have all of the answers. I can say, it certainly didn’t hurt. I believe my husband and I raised readers. Why is that so important? I just felt it was important to have a solid understanding of information, the kids needed to be able to read. They needed to be able to think critically. If they could understand the written words, they should be able to comprehend information and solve problems.

If you do nothing else, find time to read to your kids. Not only will it help you bond with your child, it will open up a new world to them. Adventures await in a book! All those experiences help your child in the classroom as well as outside of it.

Happy reading!

photo from

Published by Tutoring with Sheryl

I have 32 years of experience teaching in public schools in Nebraska. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincon. I hold a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. I have 2 Google for Education Certifications. I have been tutoring online for 1 year. I have worked with countless students of all ages to support their education. I also support teachers with planning and management in their classrooms.

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