I was having a conversation recently with a fellow mom and we were talking about the kinds of environments that really encourage kids to grow up with a love of learning. One of the factors we were discussing was having parents who enjoyed reading. Reading for pleasure, reading to learn about something new, any kind of reading. We agreed that seeing your parent read on a regular basis was probably a pro in the world of home schooling.
Our curriculum choices mean that currently I read out loud to my kiddos quite a bit. We also have bedtime family read alouds along with two budding readers who commandeer my Kindle whenever I allow them in order to proudly read out stories from the Treadwell Readers. So as a family, reading is a regular habit in our home. My husband and I are both readers by nature and read for pleasure on a regular basis. However, I realized after our conversation that my children might not actually know that!
I do tend to sit and read while they’re playing around me. But all too often, it’s just as convenient for me to read on the laptop through the Kindle Cloud Reader or on my Kindle app with our iPad. The realization I had was that from my children’s point of view, I could just as easily be engrossed in Facebook or Pinterest instead of my Bible or a wonderful piece of fiction.
So one of my goals for this year is to make the conscious choice to read out of actual, turn-the-pages books or on my super basic reading-is-all-you-can-do Kindle whenever I’m in front of the kids. And the kids are already taking notice! I was reading a copy of For The Children’s Sake (highly recommend!) and underlining sentences or starring impactful passages. The kids huddled around and were fascinated, wanting to know all about what I was doing with my book and why. I’ve probably highlighted hundreds of passages in the Kindle Cloud Reader via laptop right under their noses, but they’ve never noticed before.
It’s small choices like these that help me understand more of Charlotte Mason’s ideology that “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” The truth is that our children never stop learning, even after the school day has ended. So the question becomes “What are we teaching them when the ‘teaching’ is done?”
Here’s to a year of creating “an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life” that enhanced our studies rather than undermines them. And to the familiar feel of turning a page.