I was listening to a freakonomics episode about teaching in american schools , and a quote was mentioned in passing (I think by the founder of KIPP schools)
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. – James Arthur Baldwin
I was running errands at the time, and it almost stopped me in my tracks.
It kicked off a whole train of thought, rethinking how much of a model I am to my son, in general terms. However, it also made me think about a specific area.
My son hates reading. He has Asperger’s and is very bright; his numeracy, comprehension and language skills are excellent. He struggles with reading and writing, and exhibits elements of dyslexia.
He knows in theory that my wife and I both like reading, but actually he rarely sees us do it. We never seem to manage to find the time to read for pleasure or self-education, but both of us were voracious readers before parenthood. Now, the only reading either of us do is in snatches on a phone or tablet, and it is rarely anything really worth reading. We have continued to acquire books at such a rate that we have many bookcases loaded with books, but they are just not getting read.
Referring back to James Arthur Baldwin, my son may well continue to resist what we say, but if he does not see us reading he can not emulate that later. It worries me a lot because my measure of an interesting and interested person is how much they read for interest.
This needs to change, and we are going to set aside at least a couple of times a week where the TV is off, and we both sit down with a physical book (not a device, even if it is emulating a kindle) and read for an hour.
It also kicked off a train of thought of what we need to do to refocus how we home educate, but that’s another post.