On Reading: How to Raise a Reader
(or how my parents did it, anyway)

by 5 Minutes for Books

  • Fill every shelf in your house with books. Build more shelves. Buy more books. Repeat.
  • Use spare moments to read books for pleasure. Sometimes to your kids. More often just for yourself. In bed late at night. In the rocking chair while nursing the baby. Out on the lawn while the kids play. In the car on trips.
  • Teach your kids to read early so they can start reading for themselves. Use phonics, not that modern whole-language foolishness.
  • When the TV breaks, don’t fix it.
  • Let your kid read under the covers with a flashlight late at night. Pretend not to notice.
  • Let your kid read wherever she wants (yes, sometimes even while playing right field at a baseball game.)
  • Go to the library. A lot. Yes, even though you end up with fines when your kid loses books under the covers.
  • Give books as gifts, as rewards, as encouragers, as advisors, as friends. Because soon enough, that is exactly what they will become.

Mary Ostyn lives in Idaho, blogs at Owlhaven, and is mother to ten children. Her book A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family* has recently been published.

*I (Jennifer) reviewed Mary’s book at 5 Minutes for Mom this week. Check it out yourself. I loved this delightful book, even though I am a mom of two — and plan to keep it that way! You can also enter to win a copy.

Mary was my (Jennifer) roommate in the Dominican Republic when I went last November with the Compassion Bloggers. A new group just arrived in India today. Please follow their journey. Pray for them. Learn more about the country and the children in need over there.

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