Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Delight of a Father When His Children Learn to Read

Today, Paton and I finished his reading book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Paton is the fifth child I have taught to read using this resource. It is phonics based. Every day Paton would hold me accountable to teaching him when I got home from work. Usually before he even said, "Hello," he'd be asking, "Daddy, can we do reading now?"

I love seeing the progress of the children as they make their way through this book. This is really the only formal reading curriculum that we give our children. After that, the assignment is to read, read, read. Brittney, my oldest daughter, has heartily embraced this assignment. She is a voracious reader. Her younger brothers Michael and Justin, and her younger sister Brianna have also made great strides in their reading since finishing this book. I remember, in 1998, a friend of mine from work asking if he could buy this book from me when I got done with it. His, then four year old, son would be needing to learn to read. I told him I didn't think I'd be done with it any time soon. Eleven years later I'm still using this book, with two more children "in the queue" before I'm done (and that's if God does not bless us with any more children). I sure hope that father bought his own copy and gave up waiting for me to get done with mine.

By teaching your child to read, you give him a wonderful gift. In reading, a child can travel to far away places where he may never actually be able to go. By reading, he can even travel back in time to relive world or American history. By picking up an old book my children can learn theology from great men of God who died hundreds of years ago. But most of all, in learning to read, a child can read the very Word of God that He has preserved for us in the Holy pages of scripture.

Each evening we read the Bible together as a family during our family worship time. Paton took his turn reading two scriptures tonight. As he improves, he'll read more and more until eventually he'll take his "normal" turn reading two scriptures at a time until our entire two chapters for the night are fulfilled. To be reminded of this blessing I need look no further than Justin, who at age seven easily reads from the Geneva Bible each night.

Paton, my son, read the Word of God. Devour it. Memorize it. Teach your own children to read it someday.

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