The Simple Life

Reading: More than a hobby

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Memorial Day is past and so are local high school graduations. School is out for summer vacation and many parents wonder what their children will do until school starts again. Some parents may even be concerned about how much knowledge their children may lose between now and the fall semester.

Books were my answer. Books are a great way for children to spend their time and will help keep them from “losing ground” on the educational front. Local libraries are more than willing to aid you or your child in finding books to enjoy and they can be borrowed for free.

When my own children were younger, we spent a lot of time at libraries. I read every book they borrowed from a library for several years. I think we went through 40 or 50 books in the Animorphs series in a single summer.

I read what my children did to make certain they were appropriate and to discuss any issues I felt needed to be addressed.

My children read to enjoy the fantasy of another world or to learn about dinosaurs or whatever else held their interest at the time as they were allowed to choose most of their own reading material.

While reading, however, they also learned. Without knowing it, they picked up a lot more than just information about their chosen topics.

They learned new vocabulary by reading words in context. If reading the word in a sentence or paragraph wasn’t enough for them to understand the word’s meaning I made them look it up in a dictionary. Yes, I was that mom.

They also learned writing skills such as subject and verb agreement and proper syntax simply by being exposed to so much writing. Of course, they didn’t always realize they were learning or retaining information just by enjoying their library books.

Besides the academics, my children also learned life lessons, found role models and expanded their own imaginations.

Reading has become a life-long hobby for me and my children. I just completed a book on the Holocaust and before that a fiction book by Ted Dekker. I have several more books lined up, both fiction and non-fiction, waiting to be read. What will you or your children be reading this summer?

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