Reading: How do you encourage it in your Home?

19 August 2010

Therefore, the selection of their first lesson-books is a matter of grave importance, because it rests with these to give children the idea that knowledge is supremely attractive and that reading is delightful. Once the habit of reading his lesson-book with delight is set up in a child, his education is--not completed, but--ensured; he will go on for himself in spite of the obstructions which school too commonly throws in his way. ~ Charlotte Mason (Vol. 1 Part VIII--Reading for Older Children, p.229)

Well, I have quick testimony to say about reading and our children. Once we moved overseas, we knew that we wanted to get involved in a church; beforehand we are never involved in a church because we did not see the value or could not agree on a church. Mind you, I was raised with religion, but not Christ and my DH was agnostic up to this point.

One night my oldest son have a friend over for dinner (a Christian boy) and he wanted to say a prayer before we ate, and I said sure we can… After he said his prayer he stated, “Thank you God for this food, Amen.” After we said Amen, on oldest son (at the time was 8 years old) looked puzzled. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “Who is God?” Needless-to-say, our world was a little shattered at that moment. We (as adults) knew who God was, but we chose to ignore his teachings and omitted Him to our children. Wow, talk about an eye-opener!

Soon after we PCS’d (shortly after that 'incident') overseas, and we found a church and got Saved. AMEN! Here’s the real story…my husband and I prayed about my oldest on the subject of reading. He HATED to read, he thought of it as a chore, even looked at it as punishment.

One day our prayers were answered. Our TV (satellite) didn’t work at our new home. Overseas (and off-post) you need a satellite to watch the AFN network. We could not for the life of us, get it connected. We even hired someone to get it connected, but to no avail.

So what do you do with no more television? You read. LOL! This problematic TV situation was a blessing in disguise. We quit TV cold turkey and have never looked back. Mind you we still own a couple TVs, and DVD players. I let the children watch videos here and there…but it’s not on 24/7 and I am not saying that TV in general is bad, but it was a major factor of disobedience to God in our family. It took over many of hours of senseless TV watching...

I now find that because of that situation, my children (especially my oldest) is an avid reader. He now loves to read and frequently always has a book in hand. The younger ones see this and follow younger ones love to be read to...

I try to ‘push’ classics over the latest pop culture series, and I do use a reading list. Here are some sites I use to chose books from:

1.Ambleside Online
(our current reading list per grade level)
2. Buried Treasure
(online book list from several different websites all in one list)
3. Project Gutenburg
(Top 100 Lists—there is not enough days in the year) {sigh}
4. G.A. Henty E-books
(Free E-Books)
5. G.A. Henty Books
(Listed as Unit Studies)
6. LibriVox Free Audio Books
(Aesop’s Fables)


7. The Well-Trained Mind is an excellent resource and has reading list by subject or grade authored by Susan Wise Bauer & Jessie Wise.
8. Read for the Heart: Whole Books for WholeHearted Families by Sarah Clarkson
9. Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt
10. Reading Between the Lines: A Christian Guide to Literature by Gene Veith.

Some of our favorite books are:
White Fang by Jack London
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robin Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper (my favorite)
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I am excited about one of our new books is from C.S. Lewis (a collection). I hope I am able to read all of them before this year is out... we shall see. :)

I believe children learn by example, so I often have a book in hand. They see that reading can be enjoyable. I also always have a stack- load of books that we get from the library (for free reading and books on the topics we are doing in our homeschool). I receive reading materials from different magazine, mostly Christian. I believe that it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind and for reading I do the opposite of that saying…books are abundant in our home environment.

The most common and the monstrous defect in the education of the day is that children fail to acquire the habit of reading. ~ Charlotte Mason (Vol. 1 Part VIII--Reading for Older Children, p.227)

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Heather said...

I absolutely agree! We are Charlotte Mason-ers (yes, I know that's not a real word) ourselves and our home is full of books. I think we might have more books in our house than every other item we own combined! Our children all love to read, my husband and I love to read. We live literally a block from the library so we are there at least a couple of times of week (the kids get to check out 3 books at a time, and usually within 3 days they've finished them and are ready for more - and that is on top of their school reading).

Jessica S. said...

@Heather: Yes, we are not too far away from our local library either. I love using the library and especially being a military family---with having a limited weight allowance, I am only keep up with their school books and some little extra, but I always have a good portion of the library (books) at home. :) Thanks for commenting! :)

Lora @ my blessed life said...

What a great post! I love your philosophy on books. We, too, don't have any network or cable tv, we just use it for videos:) I don't miss it at all~and the kids have not ever watched commercial tv. They are growing up to be wonderful readers and I'm so glad. We are a book-loving family~and we don't let the lack of enough book shelves determine how many books we have!:)

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Thank you for the great info on books to read. We have the most basic of cable, so we dont' get much. We check out dvds and rent from NetFlix. Thankfully, my daughter loves to read. Ds not so much. Still trying though...

Layton Family Joy said...

shouting - WE HAVE THOSE! The classics at the top! We have them!!!! My son loves the adventures!

thanks for linking up again this week (sorry I wasn't by earlier - I forgot to go back by after the weekend)!
the hsv

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Come back soon! Sincerely, Jessica

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