Read, It Does a Heart (and Education) Good

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During what may seem to be dreary days after the busy holidays, I'd like to encourage you to press on in your important task. While this long stretch of time with few breaks can feel interminable, I found for our family that these were some of our most profitable days in terms of getting things done.

With no beautiful weather to distract and the cold outside encouraging you to stay in (unless, of course, you're in the South), may you find this a good season of focused work with the ultimate reward of much accomplished.

I found some fresh words of encouragement to share in a book I recently read called The Book Whisperer, the story of a gifted teacher who encourages her classroom students to read far more than most of their peers. (Does she sound like a Sonlighter?)

The author, Donalyn Miller, gave many reasons why she is convinced reading is important. She says, "I know from personal experience that readers lead richer lives ... than those who don't read." And, "Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters—the saints and sinners, real or imagined—reading shows you how to be a better human being."

I couldn't agree more.

The author quotes from The Power of Reading: "no single literacy activity has a more positive effect on students' comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, spelling, writing ability, and overall academic achievement than free voluntary reading." So as you and your children read daily, be encouraged that you are catapulting your children's education forward in a painless manner.

So during these winter days, rejoice as your children read, recognize that you are educating them effectively, and be glad as you relish the world of books.


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