Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Balancing work and children

It’s not something you usually see a homeschooler/blogger writing about--it seems to be a conflict that employed mothers have. But Sherry, who writes a wonderful book review blog says:
    "I have this theory that it’s important for children to see you doing something you love —for me that’s reading and blogging— at least some of the time. Not that I read and blog just to show my children how important those activities are, but I think for them to develop a love for reading, they need to see me reading. Engineer Husband loves science and math, so as they see him doing science and math, they begin to enjoy those subjects, too."
As much as I respect her book reviews, I’ve just got to disagree a little bit. As reported here before, some children will never enjoy reading, and will not grow up to be readers, and particularly will not grow up to be library users, even if they do read books. My children always saw me reading, I read to them, and I taught them to read, and I took them to the library to check out their own books, and they always received books as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and for no reason at all. Phffft. One doesn’t read at all and hated school; the other loved school and will only read books in hard cover that she personally has purchased and only by a select group of authors.

Here’s my take:
    Far sighted children are less likely than near sighted to be engaged readers, even with glasses for correct vision

    Athletic children are less likely to chose a good book to entertain themselves

    Children who are intuitive and sensitive and love a crowd to charm, are less likely to hang out in libraries or hit the books after school

    If your son is a stud muffin, he's much less likely to be a reader than if he's a geek.
Children are born either readers or non-readers, in my opinion. You can stifle it, discourage it, make it difficult for them to get books; their friends can tease them, or exclude them for reading, but if they are readers and derive pleasure from it, they will find a way--billboards, cereal boxes, instructions on games, crawlers on movie screens. The non-readers--well, you can lead them to the library and load them up, but you can’t make them like it. Neither of my adult children have library cards.

This mother's advice: read to your children because you like the story or pictures, and it is good cuddle time. There are other things more important than reading.


Sherry said...

You have a point, Norma. All of my children are readers ---so far, some enjoy it more than others.

Shosh said...

Amen Norma. I am a living testament to that. It's not that my Mother doesn't want me to read, but I was such a rabid reader, I would rather lost sleep than not read. On the other hand, I was so competitive, I didn't want bad grades either, so I would study first, and then read until I will have only 4 hours of sleep before school. It didn't help that I was only 75 pounds with 5'2" height.

My mother banned books for me, and gets mad if I read after bedtime, but I do anyway. I still read today. I still only get 4 or so hours of sleep because I just love reading. I have no idea what to do if I cannot read.

I understand that some children will never enjoy reading, and I'm fine with that. To each his own....and all that.