One of the frequent posters over on the Sonlight Forums recently shared an article that caught my eye. It was a piece titled The sad, sad state of college English from a recent edition of the Baltimore Examiner. Take a few moments to read this short essay written about a college English professor, now retired, who relates some of the horrific writing he experienced from his students.
What especially struck me was this statement ... Most students make it clear that they don't like to read, and they don't want to read. Many struggled tremendously with their reading. So they just wouldn't do it. And yet it's so important. When you read, you get to see the language used correctly, and you're exposed to a range of vocabulary far beyond your own. I listen to students today, and the number of words they use is limited to slang and colloquialisms.
I remember as a young mother, cherishing the time spent reading to my children, little realizing what a great impact that special time was to have on them later in life. While I do suspect that good writing benefits from solid training, I am convinced that the ability to verbalize and then write well thought out responses is impacted tremendously by a lifetime of reading quality literature. That love for reading begins early, and if my children are any indication, never leaves!