When I look back over my life I didn't struggle with reading, spelling was another thing, but reading I think I was OK with. I enjoyed books and when needed for home work I researched in encyclopedias, books, magazines and newspapers as
taught by our librarian or teacher. I can't say my parents read with us a lot but they did encourage us to read and the simple fact that resounds loudly to me, we didn't watch endless amounts of TV as there wasn't endless amount of children shows.
Fast forward to my children. When my daughter was born, I read to her as a baby. My mom and especially my Oma thought they saw it all... reading to a baby, ridiculous, but I did it anyways. As she got older I read more books to her and went to the library. I can remember distinctly when she was in the My Little Pony phase there was one My Little Pony book that we
read everyday and many days more then once. She had memorized each page pretty much completely. We found it funny. I didn't focus or force her to learn to read, I just read to her. Come grade one, oddly enough, we found out she was
behind in her reading skills. I guess in our reading for fun, I missed the point of teaching her. So we focused on her reading each night and in no time she was up to where she should be. Reading hasn't been an issue since and she still loves to read, so much we sometimes have to forbid her to read because she stays up at night reading to finish the book.
Now my boys.... this is a different story. I know I did not read with them as babies, like I did with my daughter. Maybe its because with more kids in the house, they didn't get all that attention I had when it was just one. Maybe because of having a child with special needs and focusing more attention on other needs like physio therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, reading just didn't get in there for them. (Not to forget my daughter still asking for her reading time, I thought/felt like I was getting reading time in.) Maybe its TV, Internet, etc. Don't get me wrong, I am doing their home reading programs and compared to my daughter, they can read more sight words than she could at the same age. But that love of reading, the interest to hear the whole page of each page of the story, the wishing that the story would continue when coming to the end of the story is not there. It seems more task driven than desire....
Until tonight. I saw my son with Down syndrome, open his home reading book and babble along making up his own story. At first I thought I need to get him to look at the words and "read" the words, but he quickly told me "No!" and returned to
his reading. He flipped page by page and read his story and at the end I asked him if he liked the book, "yes". I did my other son's home reading making him read each word and practise sight words and then we were done.
Now reading this study, I'm taken aback.... I reflect on our home reading program time tonight and compare the two... what use is the ability of reading without the love of reading? I think I have lost focus, purpose, desire. Another New Years Resolution has emerged. One that should make a difference to all of us. Time to get back to the Love of Reading.