“Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love of reading.” -Rufus Choate
To raise an intelligent, voracious reader as a parent our job is to create an environment conducive to reading. In each child’s bedroom it’s a simple as having shelves for books that are easy to for the child to reach and enjoy the books. My two favorite ways to store books in the children’s rooms are bedside tables with a good shelf and galley shelves made of rain gutters. (See directions.)
Next is providing a lamp for them to read at bedtime. Lamps can be an expense to put one in each room if you go out and buy all new. I enjoy buying used lamps. I’ve never paid more than $3 per lamp for my children’s room. At a garage sale I found a double pair of decorative iron lamps with shades. For my youngest two daughter’s room I found a $3 pink lamp with a sequin shade at a thrift store. Keep an eye out for a good deal on lamps and avoid breaking the bank to add these additions to your home. The best part is if one gets broken, you don’t have to feel so frustrated because you didn’t spend too much on it.
In our home, each night at bedtime, mom, dad or a sibling will snuggle with the younger children and read 1-2 books by lamp light. If we let them read on their own after that, we turn out the lamp 10-15 minutes later. The older children read until sleepy by the light of their lamps.
We use 40 watt bulbs to allow enough light to read by without brightly lighting the entire bedroom. If you can find lamps with the off switch on the cord, it makes it easier for the child to turn out the light without having to reach too far.
It has been proven that even ten minutes a day of Sustained Silent Reading is enough to increase test scores quickly and tremendously. I’m not necessarily after good test scores as much as I am hoping to encourage and nurture a love of reading that will benefit my children the rest of their lives.