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Reading is Important

But is reading really all that important?  The answer, to many in the know, is “Yes!”  Yes, that is, if you want to give your children a leg up on success in life.  Study after study of successful men and women – the leaders of companies, governments, and private non-profit organizations – have consistently found that one common characteristic is the person behind the helm is usually a prolific reader.

Reading helps shape the mind.  Reading prepares us to think.  Reading is different than watching TV.  The television bombards us with information we barely have time to absorb.  Reading lets us take the time to think about what’s happening on the page.  How would we react?  What would we do?  Were the characters’ actions appropriate, moral, and wise?  What were the consequences?  Processing these stories helps us live our own lives.  What will the consequences of our own actions be?  Are our own actions appropriate, moral, or wise?

But as important as reading is, even more important is the necessity to read books with a proper understanding of the way the world really works.  If we read stories where an immoral character always wins, then we begin to think we too can win through immoral action.  And, while this may seem to work out well in the short term, we all know that in the long term immoral actions will eventually catch up to us.

So we’ve identified two principals.  If you want your children to be good readers, then you must choose to provide them with quality books – books whose stories extol the virtues you want your children to learn.  You must also choose to provide time for them to read.  Maybe that means you decide to turn off the TV, put the Gameboy in a drawer, or even forgo that second or third extra-curricular activity.  Reading takes time, and you must make time for reading.

And finally, your children’s good reading habits start with you.  Do your children see you read?  Do you read out loud to them?   Read on to find out how we instilled good reading habits in our children.