Reading was not easy for me. I was a sickly child, who missed a lot of school and ended up having to take extra classes to learn my phonics. Though intelligent, I read out loud to retain data and I’ve always been a visual person (seeing the page helped me remember the information, as well). Of course, in a family of bookworms, this didn’t bold well, and I was often expelled from the room when we’d convene in one location to enjoy our selected titles.
My banishment was difficult for me. It made me feel depressed and no longer interested in my reading. I’d cry instead, wanting to be back with the rest of my family. I didn’t blame them for their frustrations, but I felt abandoned for something I couldn’t control. Or could I?
This is when I realized that reading is a “practiced skill.” The more I read silently, the better I got at it. In addition, my comprehension became stronger and my time faster.
I bring this up because knowing this helped me as a mother when my daughters were learning to read. I was able to recognize their talents as well as their struggles. It made me patient and allowed me to be more mindful, which I think afforded me to be kinder. It reminded me to be a cheerleader while reminding them (and me) that we all learn differently. Also, literacy is NOT a measure of intelligence, but it can unfortunately be affected by circumstances, opportunities, and economics. You can learn more in these articles:
Something my mother did to inspire me was to be an avid reader herself. She always had books available in our house, but also, she took us to the public library regularly. I have fond memories of going there. We didn’t partake in the events, but it was a family outing we loved. A traditional walk to exchange our stories for new ones. A treasured I passed to my kids, who are now instilling this into the lives of my grandkids – four generations from the example of one.