Reading Books with your Children
Importance of Reading
Behind worshiping as a family and sharing the gospel with your children, there may be no more important activity for your family than reading books. The effort that you give to reading to your children will bear much fruit in terms of intelligence and language acquisition, that will only serve your family as you seek to love God with all your heart, mind and strength
There was a study done by the U.S. Department of Education Commission entitled Becoming a Nation of Readers. It's finding indicated that, from an educational view point, reading aloud to your children is the single greatest factor in building skills for reading and comprehension.
I will argue that it is not only the single greatest factor in Children's development, but it will also enhance their ability to abide in the truth of God's word.
We have made a reading aloud a nightly routine since our children were little. There have been ups and downs in the ease of this habit but we have made a commitment. The excitement for the reading time can wane based on the selected book, but the vision remains true; create consistent family time around good stories.
Now that our kids are getting older, our family loves to cuddle up together around a good book. Few things draw our children in and fill their quality time bank like reading a good story together. Each of our children, to varying degrees, will sit and listen to a story- as long as it grabs their attention. Sometimes, I will begin reading a book to one child and find that the others drift our way and be the time I am done reading their will be five children in earshot. We have connected as a family over good books.
We have join heroes on their adventures through our read alouds. Together we have cheered on the Pevensies, we have excitedly sought the "mended wood" with Picket, Heather and the rest of cloud mountain and we have run scared from the fangs of Dang with the Wingfeather family. Our read aloud books have also transported us to different world than our own, from a little house in rural America, to the Andes mountains of South America. It doesn't matter what story it is, or where it has taken us; what has mattered to our family is that we have done it together. We have laughed together and cried together in the pages of theses books.
A Love for Reading
If you ever have the chance to join our family for dinner, you will not see a TV in any visible place. To be clear, we have TV that we pull out on occasion, but we have a made a family choice to keep it out of sight. Seeking the best of family habits, my wife and I decided early in our marriage that we would replace the TV and entertainment center with bookshelves. We were making a conscious effort for our home to be filled with books.
This was perhaps the most important family culture choice that we have ever made. Instead of turning on the TV, we turn to books. Instead of flipping through the channels, we flip through pages. Our kids don't anticipate the next TV show as much as our next trip to the book store, and instead of memorizing the which streaming service is hosting which shows, we memorize our bookshelves so that we are able to find our favorite books.
Without the distraction of the lights and sounds of a TV, our family has developed a love for reading.
How Reading Affects Faith
Did you know that If you are a Christian, you are a reader?
Here is what I mean; the Christian faith if built upon the eye witness accounts of the disciples who recorded everything they heard and saw in order to pass on and preserve a testimony for their Lord. All early Churches received copies of these testimonies and modern Christians have interacted with this testimony via the written word of God. Therefore, if you are a Christian, your life has been changed by a book.
Additionally, dedicating yourself the reading that book is one of the most important disciplines that will help a Christian grow in their faith. We made the choice to become readers and you can do. Choose to set your phone down, turn away from entertainment and pick up God word. Make the reading of Bible a significant part of your daily routine and lead your family to create a culture of the word in your home.
A family culture of reading will give your family habits that lend well to your faith. If you can develop a love for books, your family will be able and willing sit down around The Good Book; and if you make reading a priority of your kids education, they will have skills that translate to Bible reading and comprehension. Make the choice to be a reader and commit often to read to your children, praying that God will use your efforts to draw your family closer to His book.