Improving Literacy starts at Home

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m talking about literacy in the United States. Did you know one in seven adults would find it difficult to read anything more challenging than a picture book? This is scary.

I find this quite alarming. How can these adults teach their children about the joy of reading, if they can’t read themselves? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Parents who can’t read are limited to what they can teach their children. In my opinion, reading is one of the most important skills we can pass on to our kids.

Photo credit: State Library of Queensland, Australia via Visual hunt / No known copyright restrictions

What’s going to happen to our country if we raise a generation of illiterate adults? What happens when all they can do is read text messages? The ability to read and write correctly is going to be a skill that will be in short supply in the future. In my opinion, there’s going to be a great divide between the kids who can read and write and those who get through life typing and reading short text messages. We as parents need to turn the tide on this problem. But what can we do?

Photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development viaVisual hunt / CC BY

We can make reading a priority. In our house it’s part of homework. My boys read twenty minutes every night. I talk about the books they’re reading and ask them their opinions. My oldest is in the process of reading my second Super Spies book. I know this story by heart and we discuss the actions of the characters. Could they have handled a situation differently? What would you do differently if you were in that situation? These are good talks and I treasure them. I’m hoping by having these discussions, I’m developing critical thinkers, too.

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What else can we do? We can improve the selection of books available for our kids to read. The more books they have to choose from, the more likely they’ll find something that interests them. This means supporting the libraries in our schools and our public libraries. It also means having a lot of books in our homes.

I also believe we need to accept what our kids want to read. If they want to read graphic novels, so be it. It’s better than not reading. That goes for comic books, too.  If these types of books are what interests your child, show them you support their choices. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo via Visual Hunt

When you think about it, reading helps strengthen the family bond. Imagine as your child grows he develops an affinity for a certain genre of books. Wouldn’t it be awesome to sit with your child and talk about the books he’s read? It would boost his self-esteem if you showed genuine interest in what he’s doing. If you showed you valued his opinion.

A Mom who read my first Super Spies book with her daughter, sent me an e-mail stating that my book opened up a family discussion about what her daughter would do if she were in the same situation as my characters. It was a great bonding moment between them. Isn’t that an awesome feeling? Knowing your book sparked a family bonding moment? It was for me!

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Reading is also a great stress reliever. Helping your child develop a love of reading early will help him deal with the pressures of being a teenager. I always lost myself in a book during my teen years and it helped me.

For more information on how reading benefits you and your child, check out this post.

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-benefits-reading-why-you-should-read-everyday.html

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any ideas on how to improve literacy, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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About Lisa Orchard

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.
This entry was posted in Family, Literacy, Parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Improving Literacy starts at Home

  1. Darlene says:

    Well put Lisa. Reading was always part of the daily routine when my kids were growing up. I was a very busy mom, with a full time career with long hours, but we always read together every day.

  2. suemvan says:

    Reblogged this on Independent Authors and commented:
    Important read

  3. sharonledwith says:

    Always read to my son. He ended up going to University. Great post, Lisa!

  4. Mrs. AOK says:

    One in seven! That is a startling statistic. We need to fix this, and I love all your ideas to help remedy this issue. Thankfully, it’s not too hard to get my kiddos reading, they are serious book lovers like their mama.
    I have to admit at being a book snob on occasion when I thought the reading was too light (for my kids), I won’t do that anymore.
    XOXO

    • Lisa Orchard says:

      Thanks for stopping by Mrs. AOK! I know, it’s an incredibly scary statistic. I’m glad to hear your kids like to read. It’s such an important skill in life. I hear you about being a book snob, I never considered comic books really reading, but I’ve changed my tune on that one. 🙂

  5. I wholeheartedly agree with this! 😀

  6. Pingback: 20 for 20 Reading Challenge | lisaorchard

  7. Very good info. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon).
    I have bookmarked it for later!

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