Why You Should Become a Reader and How to Start

 

 

Why you should become a reader:

Picture waking up on a Sunday morning, drinking your coffee, and basking in the first morning rays of sun that are beaming through your window while you are immersed in your favorite book. That is my idea of a perfect morning. Peaceful, quiet, serene, and I’m lost in an entire other world or somebody else’s life in an amazing book. Are you convinced that you should start reading again yet? If you are skip down to the How to Start, if not, keep reading.

What is your favorite movie? I’m going to go with an easy one that is pretty common and most people know Pride and Prejudice, did you enjoy the 2 hours you spent watching that movie? Now imagine being able to stretch that experience out to a whole morning or a whole afternoon. You can stop and put the book down for a minute when you want to reflect on how Elizabeth is a much better sister than I am because I would rebuke Lydia much harsher than Elizabeth did. You can become part of the story as you are reading it more than just watching the movie and being shown exactly what each character looks like, sounds like, and moves. When you read, you create this images yourself. Convinced yet?

How about this, we are being bombarded by fake news, exaggerated news, or news that is 100% true but is obviously just trying to get a rise out of a certain group of people. Why do you think they are so successful at creating this absurd news using sound bites and memes that get thousands or millions of views and shares? We don’t read! As a society we seem to have fallen in love with the media, the television, and Hollywood. I firmly believe we would be in a much better state as a country if instead of the media, we fell in love with books! It is much more difficult to confuse a person on how the economy works who is familiar with the writings of Milton Friedman, Marx, Keynes, or Mill. If nothing else, they will know how to think critically on the current information they are given instead of letting the news reporter get them riled up about their latest prediction. Being an avid reader will help you to be a critical thinker and be able to decipher between fake news and real news. 

Children will do as you do, not as you say. This is one of the biggest motivators for me to read every night instead of watching TV or browsing Facebook (full disclosure, I sometimes indulge in those things when my kids aren’t watching). However, in the evenings, after the kids go to bed I try to make it appoint to read for another hour until they are asleep. I also read first thing in the morning (this is when I try to do my serious reading), so to my kids they see that reading is important and reading is fun. If you want to raise intelligent children, teach them to love reading, and be their example. ts8var4y570e402b6011d466172928

Reading will help you advance in your career. As you move up on the career ladder, you will inevitably need to read more and understand what you are reading. You may even need to explain it to your coworkers, an outside investor, or your boss. Perhaps Dr. Seuss explained this best: “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”. 

 

How To Start

Turn Off the TV, I wrote a blog earlier on How to turn off the TVif you want some tips. If you make a conscious effort to keep the TV off, it will make it easier to fill the time with a good book.

Start SmallIf it has been a few years since you have done some serious reading, don’t start with with works of Aristotle. Save that for a few months or even a year down the road when you are used to reading the more advanced works of literature. 

Listen to Audible instead of the radio. This was actually a very simple change that I made that helped me fall in love with the written word again. I listen to Audible when I am in the car or at home doing mindless tasks. My husband has a long commute for work every day and he listens to the books as well. Then we get to discuss the books in the evening. 

Start with a genre you love.  Check out Goodreads for a list of recommended books in a genre that you find interesting.

Start or join a bookclub. Bookclub night with friends is an awesome bonding experience and it will help keep you on track to get a book finished. Gather up a group of your friends, coordinate with some wine and cheese and let the fun begin! You can also find local book clubs to join online!img_8594

If you don’t like the book, you don’t have to finish itwithin reason. I would be cautious not make a habit of getting 100 pages into a book and then moving onto the next one, the most exciting part might be yet to come, and often the best authors have a long build up. That being said, if you aren’t interested in a book, feel free to put it down and find a book you love, especially in the beginning.

Utilize your local library. Books can get expensive, my husband can attest to that, so it’s helpful to use your library, especially in the beginning when you are just learning what types of books you like. Also check out deals on used book sites or find a local used book store to get some great deals as well!

Just Start. Don’t try to make everything perfect, just start. It will be worth it!

 

 

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How to Teach Your Child Latin- For A Classical Education

We have decided to follow the Classical Education for homeschooling our children. I love English Literature and my kids love books, so for the most part we felt very confident in our decision to follow the Classical Education as taught by Susan Wise. ** However, we were hesitant to teach Latin. We had been teaching our kids Spanish, but Spanish was easy, there were countless resources, including TV series, YouTube videos, songs, and a huge section at our local library with Spanish books. However, since Latin is a dead language and even Universities are starting to drop it as an elective, there are not as many resources available to teach Latin. This is what we found:

Dino Lingo has a Latin course and it has been very entertaining for my kids, who are 3 and 5, I doubt it would be near as entertaining for older children, but for their ages it works great.

We create our own posters. We printed out pictures of animals and wrote the names in Latin on a sticker. The kids were able to participate in creating the posters as well, so they love the posters and will go to our classroom regularly to admire their work and read the words in Latin.

We have created a memory game in Latin. You know the game memory where you have 24 cards (12 sets) that are randomly placed upside down then you turn them over one at a time to find the match? Our kids love this game, so we created a game with the picture of the animal or the color and then they have to find the corresponding word in Latin. My 2-year-old son doesn’t understand this game, but my 5-year-old daughter and who friend who is part of our homeschooling group, love this game! We simply made it with 3×5 notecards and printing out pictures, much like we did with the posters.

We found quotes and put them throughout the house. We kept this inexpensive. I bought the pretty resume paper from Office Depot and document frames from the $1 store. We found some of our favorite quotes online and printed them out and framed them to hang throughout the house. We even included a few fun ones such as “Barba Non Facit Philosophum” which translates to “A Beard Does Not Make One a Philosopher.” It makes people giggle after reading all the meaning of life quotes that are so popular in Latin.

Bonam Fortunam!

**You can learn more about the Classical Education from the books and online program here, which I am not affiliated with in any way, I’m just here to share my experience.

Give Your Children a Foundation of Language and Literature

I have recently realized how important it is for children to have a strong foundation of language and literature in order to be successful in life for themselves and more importantly to be well educated, productive members of society. This is goes against the current trends of parents encouraging their children to master math, science, and technology so they can have good paying jobs as doctors or working for Microsoft. I recently read an article that discussed this phenomenon of parents not allowing children major in liberal arts. You can read the full article here, it’s in the Washington Post written by Steven Pearlstein; Pearlstein quotes Debra Humphreys regarding the phenomenon: ‘“I have heard from many different colleges that there is now a considerable — and disturbing — amount of parental pressure against the liberal arts,” reports Debra Humphreys, a senior vice president at the Association of American Colleges and Universities.’ Don’t get me wrong, I understand the struggle of paying a mountain of student debt and only being able to land a job where you didn’t even need a degree.

When I was in my 3rd year of my undergraduate for English Literature I was working at Safeway, where I had been able to advance to office manager and hiring manager. I was continually interviewing recent college graduates with a four year degree in English Literature, and they were here interviewing to be a cashier along with a few high school drop outs. This made me decide to change my major to Business Administration, without any influence from my parents, so I understand why parents are encouraging their children to not “waste their time with a Liberal Arts Degree.” However, I now know that I have been able to be successful in sales, business, and in my personal life more from my three years of studying liberal arts than from what I learned in my business classes. img_6116

In the mandatory psychology, sociology, and literature classes I was able to gain invaluable insight on how people from different walks of life respond to events differently, on what  motivates people, and how to see issues from another person’s perspective.  I developed interpersonal communication skills, public speaking experience, and critical thinking. I can see the implications that my choices have on my future and my children’s future based off the experiences I have read and studied in history. The knowledge and skills I learned studying for my liberal arts degree have helped me to develop lasting relationships with my peers, bosses, vendors, and customers and this has helped me to be successful both in my professional and personal life.

Recently I have observed an extreme lack of education in language, literature, and humanity. Due to this lack of ability to communicate with each other, as a society, we have become angry with each other. We are no longer learning about the importance of society, diversity, history, literature, and the arts. All of which I believe play an important role in bringing us together a society and as people. We are losing that connection. We are losing our ability to reason, think critically, empathize, and communicate. I know I don’t have a lot of influence over my peers, but I do have an incredible amount of influence on my children, and so do you. Give your children the gift of language. Give them the gift of literature, history, and the arts. Teach them to love books, to love to learn, and to love to understand others. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Dr. Seuss, “The more you read, the more you know, the more you learn, the more places you’ll go!” Build the foundation while they are young, and you’ll be amazed at all the places your kids will go.

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