Valparaiso Community Schools: Traditions of Reading

By: Valparaiso Community Schools Last Updated: December 20, 2016

Valparaiso-Community-Schools-Traditions-of-ReadingThe holiday season brings a combination of busy-ness and family time. Perhaps your family travels, or experiences the hustle and bustle to prepare for celebrations of the season. While school is out, there is also a gift of time to spend with family.

Do your holiday traditions include reading together as a family? If so, keep it going, whether your children are tiny tots, or grown adults. You are never too old to enjoy a story together.

On Dec. 2, Hayes Leonard staff and students gathered at Barnes and Noble to share stories and activities together. We encourage families to plan to enjoy books together at home throughout the holiday season.

In schools across America, teaching reading is a mission. Learning to read unlocks doors to learning. It provides opportunities to head off on marvelous adventures with characters that become like friends.

But just because children can read the words on a page doesn’t mean they have discovered all that yet. School aged children still encounter words they don’t know, and figuring out what is happening can be tricky.

When we think about teaching reading, sure, it’s about teaching how, but there’s a further mission, and that is to teach a love for the knowledge and the adventures that await a reader on the pages in any book.

In school we do that with shared reading, read alouds, and lots of talk about what we are reading. Families can help schools grow lifelong readers by making reading a family time, so that reading carries over into the home, too.

When you read with a child, you share more than just words on a page. You share time together, and opportunities to connect through a good story — opportunities to talk about how to work through a problem and to show empathy. As you turn the pages, your child will remember the time spent snuggled up with you long after the book has been closed and put back on the shelf.

In your family, reading together might look like family gathered in a central, cozy space and one person reading from a holiday book, a children’s book, a religious book, or a chapter book.

If no one likes to read out loud in your family, then consider listening to a shared audiobook. The Porter County Public Library has many waiting to be checked out. Audiobooks are also wonderful for long car trips.

The experience of family coming together, and reading together, becomes treasured. So cozy up with your family and a few good books this holiday season, and then make it a habit that continues into the new year.