We placed ourselves into an interesting social experiment a few weeks ago. We knew there would be drama, difficulties and general backlash because of this experiment. However, we wanted to see how it would go so we did it anyway.
We took away television, video games and computers – generally anything with a screen – away from our family for 6 days of each week.
The announcement of this change was… not well received. Our oldest took it the hardest. What about minecraft!?!?
We moved forward anyhow and, mostly, we’ve been very surprised.
Yes, there are good days and bad days, but we went into this expecting nothing but bad days. So, all in all, this is a win.
Most amazing to us is that our children are learning to read. Not in the sense of having been illiterate and are now literate, but in the sense that books are no longer the last ditch attempt to entertain oneself, instead that reading can open up new words and really take your mind to wonderful places.
Now even our oldest has found pleasure in reading. He has learned HOW to read. He takes a book and goes and curls up with it someplace and we’ll see him 1, 2, or 10 chapters later.
He even went against all things natural when we stopped reading a book with just 1 chapter left because he didn’t want the book to end.
I mean, really, who can stop reading a book with only 1 chapter to go… that may well be the root cause of insomnia for many, many folks!
I, too, am in the fray. Outside of my permaculture/gardening readings I have taken to reading a book aloud to the family. Currently I am reading Inkheart. If you aren’t familiar with Inkheart, let me suggest you read it. Yes, you’ll find it in the teen fiction section. Yes, you’ll enjoy it anyway.
If you have read it before then you realize the funny and evil plan behind this choice. First, the audacity I have to read Inkheart aloud (the NERVE, right?). Second, that it is a book about books. It is a sneaky way to spark imagination and encourage the children to go pick up other books and explore other lands all while never leaving the floor, couch, bed, or wherever they happen to curl up.
So, my family is learning to read. Learning to enjoy reading. Learning that you don’t have to have a fictional world presented to you on a screen, but that you can picture far more vast and interesting places inside your own mind. Learning that a book can really make time fly.
Perhaps the most funny thing to happen so far is a time when our oldest was in another room reading when I started reading a small book for the younger children aloud. He came crashing through the house, tripping over a dining room table chair, to get to the living room because he heard my voice. He thought for sure that I started reading Inkheart without him.
Apparently this reading thing is a real big hit.
Leave a comment below with your favorite book or story about reading! We’d love to hear them and perhaps even share them with our children!
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