Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Joy of Reading

The joy of reading with our children doesn’t stop as they, and we, get older; it simply changes…
Paul Kropp

It Started With My Mother…
by: Julie Raftelis

         My earliest recollection of reading is from my younger years.  I can remember sitting on the brown linoleum covered stairs at the back of my childhood kitchen with my mother. 
I can still feel the warmth of the sun streaming through the window hitting the pages of the well-worn copy of Goldilocks and The Three Bears.   My mother would alter her voice to match the characters of Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear as she read to me.  My mother, a former Title I Reading and English teacher, recently reminded me that she had to replace my beloved copy of Goldilocks and The Three Bears three times due to wear and tear. When thinking about what to write for this blog post, my mother often came to mind. She was the first to spark the magic of reading in my world.  I can remember walking to the beautiful stone faced library in our hometown as a little girl.  It looked like a castle with troves of treasures in the form of books stored on shelves inside.  My mother would choose her books to read and I would choose my own.  It's a memory I cherish!

Picture books and fairy tales set the stage for my love of reading.  However, The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder ignited a passion for historical fiction that is still with me to this day.  Again, my mother comes to my mind.  We share a passion for this particular genre.  We have read anything and everything written by Phillipa Gregory about Tudor England over the years.  This interest in King Henry VIII sent us traveling to England and Scotland to visit the castles and manors the characters in the books lived in so long ago. Other favorites include the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and I am The Chosen King by Helen Hollick.  Our book selections tend to always be set in pertinent historical periods of time. 
Reading with Arianna (age 2)
  Reading with my own children has always been a priority. Yes, as an educator I have researched about early literacy skills and the importance of reading to children. But, I also had a mother who read to me.  I wanted this same experience for my own children.  Reading with your children creates memories. There hasn’t been a time when my children's bedrooms and playroom hasn’t been littered with books.  My oldest daughter, Arianna, would waddle to my lap with books before she could even form full sentences.  She is now 17 and a prolific reader.  As my family grew, so did the importance of books in our home.  I was able to provide opportunities in my home for my children to develop a love for reading.  I am hoping, like me, they will be thankful when they remember it started with their mother. 



1 comment:

  1. Such a lovely tribute to your mom! Thanks for sharing these special memories.