What do I have planned for you now, hmmmmm. Let's see...reading as a family. Meaning, reading the same books.
I tried it with one book and didn't get further than five pages. I introduced my teen to Harry Potter, now she's read them more than I have. My mom and I rarely read the same books...I'm dark fiction, she was romance, but I do have to correct myself, there were some mysteries we read.
Let's get some other input:
This is something that began as an extension of just reading to my children, first as babies/toddlers and then later on as they grew older. I really enjoyed reading to my kids. As I moved from board boards and picture books to chapter books with my children, I discovered new authors and books that I’d never read before. Literature had changed since I was a child.
My children saw my excitement as I read to them and they became interested in the stories themselves. This telegraphed my own love of reading (even though I was a reluctant reader when I was young). We discussed what happened in the books and what information and lessons they had. This was transferred to other media when we would watch movies and television programs. I never parked my kids in front of the TV. We sat and watched together, even watching more adult fare because they were able to ask questions and get honest answers.
The book lists in their schools were also interesting. Often my daughter would bring home the book the class was reading together and let me catch up on the story. One of the first one she shared with me was “Bunnicula.” When my grandson was born, I bought two copies of the book—one for him and one for me.
My son read for information and still does. But reading books together showed him where information could be found.
I think some parents want to monitor what their children read. I never did. I always asked because I was curious about new authors. But I trusted their ability to understand the material. By the time they were in high school, they could read anything and I never censored.
Today when I do respite care for children with special needs, I often take them to the library. This summer (after a 25 year hiatus), I discovered a whole new group of children and YA authors. It was amazing! There were dozens and dozens of new authors I’d never seen—mysteries and fantasies, especially.
For me, reading books with my children (and now with new children) has expanded my world. And I like to think I’ve broadened theirs.
There is only one thing better than finding a wonderful book, and that is discussing it with someone who has enjoyed it as much as you. When my son was much younger, I spent hours reading to him - many of the books were favourites from my childhood and I enjoyed revisiting them as much as he loved becoming acquainted with them for the first time. Anything that families can do together in this age of technology were many interact with devices rather than people, must be a good thing.
Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note: MuseChrisChat@gmail.com