Archive for the ‘reading’ Category

I love to read. I want my children to also love to read. I think the way to do that is to read good books, and plenty of them. There actually is a list of “good books”. It was made by John Senior. Of course book lists are completely arbitrary. They change with us, so they are always changing and that is good, but some books would also make the list.  Even if you know what the good books are, it is hard to find time to read them. We are just to busy doing other things.  Here is a quote from an article I read about the “good books”:

The length of the classic children’s books ranges from roughly a hundred to eight hundred pages (e.g., some of Dickens), averaging about two hundred pages. We suggest what we believe is a reasonable goal: to read one book every two weeks, thus averaging twenty pages or so a day, excluding weekends if one chooses. Of course, it is not possible to keep this schedule with frequent television viewing or Internet browsing and chat.

This is going to be my reading goal for myself, and for my family:

 20 pages per day.

The article is very interesting and informative.

As a general rule we don’t read the great books because we never read the good books, and this article includes the list of the “good books”. Mr. Senior says that you should read 1000 good books before you read the 100 great books. I completely agree. But I have a had a hard time getting my people to read that much. But with a goal of 20 pages a day, we should be getting more reading done. Right?

Here is a link to Mr. Senior’s book list (of course I know that’s what you really want, the coveted book list! Scroll down for the list if you like, but the article is also excellent).

Here is yet another one, broken down by grade and age.


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We have been sick around here. Luckily, it is a fast moving thing. It only lasts one day, but for that day, it pretty much knocks the person out. Yesterday was Sarah’s turn. She laid in bed for most of the day, and when she wasn’t in bed, she was in the bathtub.

When evening came, she was found laying in my bed. When I entered my room, she said, “I feel like Colin from The Secret Garden.” That one sentence contained vast amounts of emotion for me. We had read The Secret Garden together as a family, and I knew who Colin was, and I knew how Colin felt, and I now knew how Sarah felt, and she had been able to communicate it in one small sentence.

That is one of the reasons I read to my family. It gives my family a common language. We can communicate so much when just mentioning varies people from books. I can understand her more completely. I can feel how she feels, because we speak the same language. The various authors have put their heart and soul into their books, and we as readers can benefit from that. We can use the characters that they have created to demonstrate a way of feeling, acting or being, in just one short sentence.

“Stop acting like Eustace.” is another favorite family quote. Nothing more needs to be said. If you know who Eustace is, then there is no need to say more.

I love reading together with my family. It is one of the most bonding things we do together.

I could not make a very long list of the books we have read together because we keep reading the same ones over and over. If I read it to my oldest when he was 12, half of my family wasn’t even born yet. So, I read the best ones over and over.

Which is why I have read Little Britches three times out loud, and some of my children have never heard it.

Reading together is the most important part of my day. If all else falls apart; if the school day was a train wreck, we can still salvage the day by reading together. We always read right after lunch, that has worked really well for us. It is part of our family culture to read together, and it is probably one of the better parts.

I love to see my kids get ready for reading. They have been know to bring  blankets, pillows, art supplies, knitting, puzzles, hot wheels and dolls, just to name a few.

When we read Little Women as a family, one girl (to remain un-named, but she is mentioned above), said, “Marmee would never do that.” regarding something I had just done.

Such is life.

That is why reading is part of my family culture, because I want us to be refined by what we read, and to be able to speak a common language, and be bound together forever.

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