I haven't just raised readers... I've raised voracious readers! A couple of years ago I wondered if my daughters would develop a love for books like I have. They loved being read to, but didn't want to do the reading themselves, even though their reading skills were progressing nicely.
I have no concern today. All it really took was finding one story, a series, that they loved so much that they just couldn't wait for bedtime to read more. I wrote about that here.
Sweet Rose is the top reader in her class and my Nature Girl is a reading machine. Santa brought her The Chronicles of Narnia and she finished the 7th book last night. Immediately, this morning, she began reading Shakespeare (a child friendly version written in modern English). She's already moving on to the 3rd book in that set as I type.
Even The Boy is coming along nicely. At 3, he's recognizing a good third to half of the alphabet and starting to connect the sounds. He can recognize the name Thomas (thanks to the tank engine), which is a double plus since it is one of his middle names (all my kids have two - in the French tradition).
As a writer and one who has had a love affair with books since I was a child (thank you, Mom!), I am beyond thrilled that my children share this passion. A good story transports us; makes us forget that we even exist as we dwell within the character's world for minutes or hours at a time.
To me, encouraging a true love for reading, not just the technical capability, is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give to your children. Ask them questions, discover their interests and then encourage them to explore them through books. Make the library your second home. Open to them a world of possibility and adventure.
What are you waiting for?! Go read a book with your kids!