I remember the days when I used to sleep with one eye open just in case Peter Pan would fly through the open window and take me with him to Never Never Land. I used to search for Smurfs and fairies in the garden, but to my disenchantment, never found any. My evenings were filled with bedtime stories which fueled my imagination and possibly ignited my love for literature.
And where did this all stem from? My imagination. The ritual of my mother reading to my brother and me, learning to embrace the gift of reading, which would ultimately provide us with an alternate universe for some period of time, brief but so beautiful.
Alan Moore wrote, “Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” Essentially this is what reading creates, a place for children and adults of any age to find something about themselves to relate to in a way, whether concrete or abstract. It is Art.
Reading has benefits beyond the classroom. It teaches us life lessons, it inspires, it gives us a break away and it fuels the imagination beyond measure.
How do we get children to read?
- Read to your children from an early age. However, do not despair if you have not done this yet but start, start now.
- Become a member at your local library and let your children choose their own books of interest and ask them questions about it.
- Allow them to research topics that they enjoy. Let them explore and it will come naturally.
- Read a variety of texts so that your child will be exposed to a number of genres and styles.
- Create projects, let them explore, research or read about holiday destinations or a topic of interest.
Disadvantages of reading
I still do not have a castle, I am not a princess or a queen, I did not get to marry a royal and a knight in shining armour has not come to my rescue. Oh and I cannot fly (do not attempt this at any point of time).