How To Raise Boys Who Read

This is an opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal

I found it quite enjoyable.
I have five sons.
We love books.

I am motivated again to carve back our reading aloud rhythms and prioritize.

I love our print rich home.

I love…

… reading on my deep jewel-toned chair with Little One nestled close on the arm. We are “chasing” the mouse through Good Night Moon, identifying body parts in Hear Are My Hands, Rhyming with Jesse Bear, and finding a friend in I See. He says, “Who’s that?” on the page with the identical little boy baby staring at the other. I say, that’s a friend. Like Sammy. Sammy’s your friend. He says, “I love Sammy.” I cry.

… sitting at the lunch table with six rapt children munching- so quietly- while I read carefully from Ginger Pye. Never is lunch so orderly- and they all cry “More.” when I set the book aside.

I am cradled in “my” corner of the couch. Little Girl is on the arm with her elbows on my head. Little Boy melts soft against me. We read the Jesus Storybook Bible. They ponder.

… sitting with my two “big” boys and we are making our way through Treasure Island. It has been a long trek- but we are almost through and I get a little of that piratey twang when Long John Silver is on the scene. We also pour through God’s World News together, and we pray for nations in Window on the World.

Strong Seven works his way through The Boxcar Children. He is “on” number 16. Methodically, he works his way- in order.

I set up a story time for Strong Seven, Sweet 6 and Little Boy. Strong Seven chooses the Big Picture Story Bible. He reads a section a day. It is “their” special time.

Tall Son and Tenderheart reminisce Redwall together. They laugh and chuckle, they scheme and imagine. Tall Son has a friend to share the adventures of Martin and Mathias… the hero mice. I read Redwall too- so I share the laughter over the zany Hare and the delicious food descriptions.

Husband has a book going at all times. He forms a routine. First a doctrinal/educational type book then a Missionary biography- and so he goes- one by one.

He heads down nightly and reads to the Big Boys (3) in their room at bedtime. They journey through Chuck Black’s series- some Lamplighters- now Douglas Bond.

I keep a stack at my bedside. I finish The Seven Secrets of Somewhere Lake. A book my Tall Son asked me to read- he loved it so. Wonderful book. I think one of my top ten favorites.

Reading. What’s not to love?

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