Anna was reading in bed the other morning when I saw how far she was into a book. I looked to see what she was reading: Eragon. Wow. My nine-year old is almost done reading Eragon?
This reminded me of other moments I have had as a mother seeing my children just sail along reading, some after months and months of effort and some with less time and effort. But every child has arrived at a place of loving reading and doing it well in their own time frame. And it is SO fun to see the fruits of the combined labors of mother, child, and the gifts of God! (“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:7)
I worked really hard nurturing their interest in and ability to read. Teachers can work really hard to help a child, but I believe it is a mother’s work that makes the most difference in this area. Mothers have the greatest influence in their child’s desire to read. So it’s thrilling to have a pay-day moment like this. It’s not that Eragon is necessarily age-appropriate or that the length of the book matters–it’s simply that she wanted to read it and then did. It is a big undertaking for a young child. And she could, because she has had so much practice.
Reading is like music and any other skill you plant and nurture in a child. It’s not rocket science. It’s simply a set of skills that, when broken down into small, digestible, delicious bites, can be learned over time. In most cases, a child can learn the skill that you prepare and plant and carefully nurture with love. How we do it matters. If we teach and continuously encourage and support, a child can learn to do a skill like reading proficiently. It’s not a matter of talent as much as persistence and love. God is on our team, and we can do it.