Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of "Things I have Learned from my Children..." Read and read and read some more.

Just over a month ago, we decided we were going to give up TV - except on Saturdays.

Being that I am not a rule-follower, I doubted it would stick, but the idea came from my ten-year-old, so I thought we could give it a try. They tend to worry and be hypochondriacs (a bit like me), so when I say TV makes their minds turn into mush, they put stock in it. I always said they should watch less TV, but I was also quick to turn to it when I don't know how to fill the time. So we jumped full in. The TV has been off most days; there have been a few exceptions, but the results of those exceptions have almost always been horrible. It seems that as soon as there is something to entertain us, all ability to take care of ourselves goes out the window. So we stick to our new rule as best as we can.

One result has been that we read more. Our evenings have ended with almost an hour of family reading. Even on Saturdays, we watch a movie and then end an hour early to get in some reading. This is a bit surprising to me, since I used to think that the last hour before bedtime would pass quicker with a television show. But it does not. We spend time together, doing something I love, reading. They each pick one book, and we read about fairies, ladybugs, and superheroes. Sometimes we read about magic spells and insightful principles, such as "a person's a person, no matter how small." Our days end better; they settle a little easier; and I feel like I did something worthwhile.

Another result has been that we read more during the day. My oldest is reading books I have not read, that maybe I should have read but skipped. And I have found that reading classic books allows me to think more clearly and more often. I have found the joy of reading over weeks. I tend to plow through books, but we are now reading some books just a chapter or two a day. We live in the books, and I miss the books when they are gone. (If you have not read the Tarzan books, I definitely recommend them!)

My second oldest is reading the Little House series, and she is learning to love stories and to enjoy sharing books with me and her sister who has already read them. There is joy in finding a kindred spirit who has experienced the book too and enjoyed the lives of the characters before.

My boy is learning to read. He is learning to put letters together to make sounds and sounds together to make words, and he is so proud. I am so proud. He works hard; he loves stories; and he loves making his own stories.

My littlest just loves books and repeats words and stories over and over. She is absorbing all she can.

I am finding that my kids are more creative and thoughtful as they read. I am finding that their minds work better for school. It has been a blessing for our entire family.

So, we read and read and read some more.

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