Increased reading is one of the marvelous by-products of homeschooling your children.
Increased reading ALOUD, but also increased personal reading, have benefitted my life and my children's lives in so many ways.
Last night, as I began the latest book in my stack (one I've been waiting to get my hands on for several weeks now), it hit me what a blessing reading has been the past couple of years.
I'm a bit obsessed with books, y'all.
Last year's reading resolution went well. I changed my reading habits and completed 50 books in the year. I felt a change in my life, in my demeanor, attention span, and cravings. It was GOOD.
This year I'm on pace to read MANY more than that. I've officially caught the reading bug. Television, Pinterest, and other activities have gone by the wayside so I can make time for good books.
My life (and my family's life) is being enriched in so many ways.
Why do we read?
More specifically, why does a HOMESCHOOL MOM (for whom time is in short supply and quite precious) devote so much time to books?
I've narrowed it down to three reasons - of course, there could be more, but these seem to encompass it for me.
We Read To Learn and Model Learning
Homeschool moms love learning (probably more than their children - ha!). We read to keep up with our children and to be able to expose them to new ideas. We want to have intelligent dinner table conversations, be able to answer our children's questions, and model that spirit of learning.
I have always strewn books around the house to inspire reading.
We Read to Make Memories and Form Connections
I read aloud A LOT to my children - they are teens and I STILL read aloud to them!
Yes, I count the books I read aloud to my children as my own personal reading. There is something about reading aloud that is very satisfying, don't you agree?
Today my 16-year-old was reading Two Ways of Seeing a River - an excerpt from a novel by Mark Twain. I asked her if I could read it aloud to her, and as I did we both were mesmerized by the beauty of the language and Twain's incredible ability to paint us a picture of a river with his words.
Earlier in the day, I had been reading Huckleberry Finn aloud to my 13-year-old. (Now there's something FUN to read aloud - give it a try!)
The memories and magic that come from reading aloud with our children are irreplaceable.
This gem of a book was one I found in my mother's things. She passed away last summer and finding this book was a gift.
Read it, and you'll know what I mean.
As I was visiting my dad, I took an afternoon to read this book. What a treasure this book - and that time - was to me.
We Read to Become Better People
Well-chosen books have a way of increasing our awareness of others and their life situations. We develop empathy and compassion as we read about a wide variety of people and situations.
Once again, so much of this comes back to my children. I read because I want to be better for THEM. I want to model these qualities for them. Homeschooling my children has refined me in so many ways - and my reading life is a by-product of that refinement.
Quarterly Reading Update
So, what have I read so far this year? Here's my list - I think it's a good mixture of classics, new releases, educational books, and just for fun, too.
And, in case you were wondering -- here are the top five of the year so far: