|picture source unknown
My four year old came screaming into the house carrying a bird’s nest. At the top of his lungs he yelled, “MOM!, look what I found! Do we have a book about this?”
My husband looked at me, raised one eyebrow and shook his head. He muttered, “you’ve ruined that boy!”. “HA!” I replied. What I had done was trained a life-long learner.
As soon as I realized my youngest child was not as interested as I was in all the animal books we owned, we purchased a set of science encyclopedias. His favorite was the one on electricity. That volume became dog-eared and marked up with dozens of “stickee” arrows. It was with that volume that a doorbell was installed on his room door when he was in second grade and countless other projects were wired for action and sound.
He made rocket ships from toilet paper tubes, invented robots and floating motorized boats from balloons. Miles of duct tape and glue flowed through our house. Q-Tips became swinging bridges, boxes became mazes and drum sets. Baby birds were hatched and science experiments were conducted on plants.
His curiosity knew no boundaries.
And each time, he consulted a book before take-off into the next adventure.
As he got older he was not a fan of reading for pleasure. However, he could devour an instruction manual in minutes and read for information with ease and understanding. We subscribed to magazines of interest for him during his teen years. One of his favorites was on radio controlled cars. He read them until the pages were worn. It wasn’t long before he could tear apart a car and rebuild it. We went to races and the back yard became a race track. Grass was planted when he outgrew this hobby and now our back yard has a beautiful dry creek bed fully landscaped. I never regret the conversion of the back yard into a race track all those years. I knew where my child was. He was learning and involved in a healthy sport. It kept him busy and out of trouble.
It was all very, very good.
The chair in the photo above still takes residence in our home. I can not bear to part with it. For you see, this chair sat between my children’s beds for many years. Until the boys were in High School, we rarely missed a night of reading, even if bedtime found itself in the late night hours. Just one chapter or one small book did not take much time and completed our day. The memories shared in this chair are priceless and hold a treasured spot in my heart. My children are now 25 and 30 years old. The chair has several holes, which I have lovingly placed patches over. One leg is quite temperamental, so the sitter must do so with care. I suspect that it will remain with me long after other furniture has come and gone. Its presence not only stirs up warm memories, it stands for an a very important reminder. The desire to acquire knowledge and the ability to read are two things that will make our children successful in life.
I try to read with my grandchild during each visit. I want the legacy of reading to carry on to the next generation. For you see, the really intelligent person does necessarily know all the answers. They know where and how to find the answers. And whether or not that answer is found in a book or on-line, it all involves READING. Reading is the cornerstone of living independently and the basis of all learning.
Book – you read to them… they can read to you.
Even older children enjoy reading chapter books together as a family
Comics from the newspaper
Instructions to a game or toy
What will you and your child read today?
Inspired from the book:
Miraculous, Magical Moments in Minutes:
Over 500 Quick, Easy Activities for Adults and Children to Share
by Becky Baxa
in both Kindle and Paperback versions