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Teach 'em Young


Yettie One

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I was lucky to at a very young age have been thrown into the wonderful world of Middle Earth as my eldest brother chose to read me first The Hobbit and then Lord of the Rings.

 

Immersed into a world of fantasy like none other I was entranced by the words, inspired by the imagination and transfixed by the genius of Tolkien. For a seven year old lad hearing the words of these stories roll off my brothers tongue as he read to me each evening was my candy fix for the day. I remember rushing home from playing next door, knowing that it was time for him to sit and read with me before bath time.

 

I may well have been too young to read those stories on my own, but taking the time to introduce me to the world of the power of the written word, and the imagination of a great author kindled in me what would become a passion for written works.

 

This is something I truly believe is the fundamental bedrock of learning, and developing an inquisitive nature. Our imagination is nurtured and stimulated through stories. We learn to create, communicate and shape our understanding and use of language.

 

I am dismayed at the decline of this interest in books and the works of literature among the youth of today, and I can't help wonder if a part of this decline is as a result of our own lack of encouraging our kids to read more.

 

Our lives are caught up in working, providing, earning, shopping, feeding and clothing our kids, that when it comes to spending quality time with them, all too often we are too tired, or can't be bothered to make that effort. In my own experience I honestly believe that without my brothers time and effort, I'd not have the passion for books that I do today.

 

Is it the time we take to pass on that interest in story telling that gives birth to an appreciation for literary work? I tend to think so yes.

 

We all come into contact with youngsters. Our nephews and nieces. Our sons and daughters. On camp at church, watching a game. When you can encourage them, Spend a moment in time and pass along that special thing we all share in the excitement of a gripping novel.

 

Thought for today - "Books are the most quiet yet most constant friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers." - Charles W Eliot.

 

Song for today - Your Guardian Angel - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

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*shrugs* My kids, 8 and 5, love books and reading. We read to them 5 nights a week, and they each either read to us (my boy is just learning) or to themselves every day as well. They love a trip to the used bookstore just as much as a trip to the toy store and we do the library every 3 weeks and have been doing the summer reading program since they were toddlers. They still play video and computer games, but it is all about moderation.

 

You're right though, it takes dedicated parenting to give your children a love of books. My husband doesn't read anything beyond magazines but I'm a self-confessed book-a-holic. I'd rather be reading than doing damn near anything else 99% of the time. Reading got me through my childhood and provided an escape in a small town where there weren't a lot of options; I want my kids to have the same adventures I did as I was transported to Arrakis, Pern, medieval England, space, alternative earths and futures! My kids take books to the dr. waiting room or on car trips, even in this day and age of video games (which they own too).

 

I have copies of LoTR, Dune, Little House on the Prairie, HP, Eragon, Anne of Green Gables, the Pern-dragonrider series, Lemony Snickets... just waiting for them.

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My mother started reading to me as far back as I can remember. I entered first grade able to read and recite my favorite stories from different fairy tale books. By the time I was in fourth grade I had devoured all the Hardy Boys and found a series of book by Alfred Hitchcock at my local library written for young boys. By sixth grade I'd read the Hobbit and moved on to LOTR.

 

Through it all my mother was always introducing me to new authors and genres of books to read. I think that in and of itself is where I got my passion to read and write. She loved books and passed that love on to me.

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Cia your kids sound like they are very lucky indeed.

 

I know there are some people that like you pass along that passion for reading. There is the exception to every rule. I'm just sad its not more widely done any more.

 

I guess it comes from a love of books, that anyone who feels as we do wants to share that joy and experience.

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Hey Comic fan.

Jeesh good to come across another LOTR fan :)

 

Your mom sounds like a wonderful lady. She did a good thing teaching you to love books.

:)

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