Granddad reads and leads
By Ken Canfield
A Massachusetts Colony law enacted in 1644 stated that heads of households should be responsible for teaching their children to read. What if, instead of enacting another new law, grandparents were vigilant and made sure our grandchildren became avid readers?
5 Reasons Why Reading With Grandkids Matters
- Reading brings us into close proximity to our grandchild. When you read with your young grandchild, you share the same book and look at the pictures together. I believe that’s why grandparents come with laps.
- Reading makes you interesting. If you read in a monotone, your grandchild might doze off. (Which is sometimes a good thing.) But with Dr. Seuss or Berenstain Bears, it’s nearly impossible to read without changing your voice for different characters, acting scared or surprised, and involving yourself in the story line. Exploring different emotions with your grandchild helps them to be honest about their feelings with you.
- Reading together gives you a chance to observe and enjoy your grandchild. Out of the corner of my eye, I love to watch my granddaughter Flora react to a story. She thinks. She wonders. She worries. She smiles. Knowing how they respond to stories will help you communicate the important stuff you want them to learn from you.
- While reading you can ask questions like, “What does that mean?” or “What do you think you would have done?” (C.S. Lewis books are great for this.) You can learn more about your grandson, teach him values, and monitor his level of understanding and maturity.
- You learn from each other. My oldest granddaughter Blythe reads real books and learns things I can’t teach her. She recommends books to me!
The biggest thrill is when you see the grandkids reading alone. And Granddad, it starts with your example.
About the Author
Dr. Canfield is the founder of the National Association for Grandparenting, at Grands Matter, www.grandsmatter.org. He is a regularly reader of Grand Magazine, is the grandfather to ten, and believes the golden age of grandparenting is beginning to dawn!
Dr. Canfield is the founder of the National Center for Fathering and most recently the National Association for Grandparenting, at Grands Matter, www.grandsmatter.org. He is a regularly reader of Grand Magazine and believes the golden age of grandparenting is beginning to dawn.