on reading to children as a shortcut to glory

When a friend shared A Mighty Girl’s list of resources with this photo/quote on their Facebook wall, I commented there and then realized it would do my Mama proud for me to say it here, too.


I credit my mother entirely with the fact that I was beginning to read on my own at age two. It was a highly valued skill to her, and she started reading to me on the day I was born and, by the time I could walk, she was carefully showing me which word she was saying as ‘we’ read, and I was given books and encouraged to tote them around all day long (and did; there are photos of me running through mud ditches barefoot and carrying a book). So it was just normal for me to be reading whatever I could get my hands on—by myself, with only occasional help for sounding out the big words and without the help of any formal instruction in phonics or the like—long before I darkened the door of a school.

Whereupon the sudden screeching thud back-to-the-pre-reading stage for a couple years running absolutely horrified my small self. My second grade teacher figured it out pretty fast and gave me a pocket-size blue New Testament with a shiny silk ribbon in it: likely she figured I could use the edification, but she also understood that I needed to be reading something besides Dick, see Spot! Jane, see Spot run! Mama also began taking me to town once a week from about the third grade on and turning me loose in the public library, where I could read any book I could reach. This was a glorious, glorious gift for the old little soul that I was. Glorious.

For this and so many other things, I remain deeply grateful to my mother. I wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans without her.


For my mother, who taught me to read, encouraged the habit, and then had to live with the consequences for life.

God bless her strong and willing heart!