on reading to children as a shortcut to glory

When a friend shared A Mighty Girl’s list of resources with this photo/quote on their Facebook wall, I commented there and then realized it would do my Mama proud for me to say it here, too.

I credit my mother entirely with the fact that I was beginning to read on my own at age two. It was a highly valued skill to her, and she started reading to me on the day I was born and, by the time I could walk, she was carefully showing me which word she was saying as ‘we’ read, and I was given books and encouraged to tote them around all day long (and did; there are photos of me running through mud ditches barefoot and carrying a book). So it was just normal for me to be reading whatever I could get my hands on—by myself, with only occasional help for sounding out the big words and without the help of any formal instruction in phonics or the like—long before I darkened the door of a school.

Whereupon the sudden screeching thud back-to-the-pre-reading stage for a couple years running absolutely horrified my small self. My second grade teacher figured it out pretty fast and gave me a pocket-size blue New Testament with a shiny silk ribbon in it: likely she figured I could use the edification, but she also understood that I needed to be reading something besides Dick, see Spot! Jane, see Spot run! Mama also began taking me to town once a week from about the third grade on and turning me loose in the public library, where I could read any book I could reach. This was a glorious, glorious gift for the old little soul that I was. Glorious.

For this and so many other things, I remain deeply grateful to my mother. I wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans without her.

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For my mother, who taught me to read, encouraged the habit, and then had to live with the consequences for life.

God bless her strong and willing heart!

~

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