A couple of weeks ago I attended a “literacy night” put on by the day school operated by our church. It was a popular event for the students and families of our school. There was dinner, free books for the kids, breakout sessions by age group, and a special guest speaker named Jane Marko. Although Jane was gearing her remarks toward the kids who were present, what she presented was applicable to most everyone.
As a speaker myself, I was impressed by her energy, and her knowledge of the topic. The topic for the night was, of course, reading. Jane Marko made a compelling case that we all ought to be reading, reading more, and reading often.
According to Jane, reading is the key to:
- Being who you want to be
Who couldn’t, wouldn’t, or doesn’t, need those things? In fact, all three of them go together: knowledge brings success in being who you want to be. But it takes time and commitment to be a reader.
Here’s what Jane Marko recommends in order to make it happen in your home:
- Turn off the TV
- Have lots of books around
- Create a book shelf just for kids’ books
- Read the books that your children are reading
- Read with your child
- Set aside time for reading each day
- “Make it a date” to go to the library weekly
Jane makes clear what we already know, but need to be reminded: When you read you get smarter. We need to know everything we can about the world. In this day and age, when information explodes exponentially literally every minute, filling our brains with knowledge is critical not only to treading water in school or our career, it is critical to get ahead in an extremely competitive world.
It’s a good idea to make reading a habit. Jane Marko recommends reading at least (or just!) twenty minutes a day. Those twenty minutes every day add up and put one ahead of those who read less, or are not reading at all. At our literacy night Jane appealed to my competitive nature. She challenged everyone present to commit to reading more than the next person. I took it as a challenge to read more than I already do.
According to Jane it takes twenty-one days of consistent change to make something a habit. If you’re already in the habit of reading twenty minutes a day, good for you! If not, I challenge you to commit, along with me, to reading at least twenty minutes every day for the next twenty-one days. That takes us to May 18th. That would be only seven hours of reading between now and then. You can do it!
If you’re going to accept my challenge to read consistently these next twenty-one days, please post a comment below.
Let’s make ourselves smarter than our next door neighbors, co-workers, and fellow students these next twenty-one days. What tips do you have for making reading a habit in your home?