My Early Reading Experience
My Early Reading Experience
To begin with, I believe that reading is one of the most important skills a person acquires throughout his life - My Early Reading Experience introduction. It is crucial that a child becomes familiar with literature at an early age. Not only does it broaden the perspective and open a whole new world full of excitement, adventures, suspense and information, but it also serves to develop the child’s imagination and critical thinking skills. Reading is absolutely invaluable as it provides the child with certain behavioral patterns, teaches him to tell right from wrong.
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Looking back at my own experience with reading I must admit that I am very grateful to my parents for introducing me to the fascinating world of literature at a very early age. My parents must have realized the importance of developing the reading skills in me, but also what can be better for keeping the child’s attention and interest than an interesting book? So guided partly by the desire to enhance my personal development and partly – to keep me out of trouble, my parents dedicated a lot of time to reading to me and later with me.
I believe that my reading experience started before I can recall, but the first memories of it go back to the time when I was around two years old. I remember quite clearly that most of the time it was my Mom who read to me. Her soft and gentle voice added to the charm and appeal of the whole experience. Sometimes Dad would also participate in our reading sessions, but it was quite a rare occasion, because he was always busy. As a child I was very active and enjoyed playing outside, running, jumping and misbehaving. But my Mom knew just what to do when she wanted me to settle down. She would take one of my favorite books and start reading. I got so used to Mom reading to me at bedtime that I couldn’t imagine falling asleep without hearing a fairytale or a story. I remember quite clearly a couple of times when I got in trouble for something and I didn’t get my bedtime story. My parents couldn’t have thought of a more effective punishment. I was so upset about being deprived of my daily trip to the imaginary world of my favorite characters that I was more than motivated to behave.
Speaking about my favorite bedtime-books, I should mention the fairytales by the Grimm Brothers. I knew each and every one of them by heart, but still asked my Mom to read them to me over and over again, and every time I was so delighted to trace the story line as if I didn’t know what was going to happen at the end.
The next stage of my experience with reading was actually learning to read. It started when I was about three years old. Again, quite predictably, it was my Mom who was my instructor. She gradually taught me the letters of the alphabet and we were reading the hardcover brightly illustrated books together. Even before I knew the letters I readily studied the colorful pictures in the books. I don’t recall struggling over the letters. As far as I can remember, it didn’t take me long to memorize the letters themselves and the sounds corresponding to them.
I do realize now that I was very well prepared for my first reading experience with me performing the part of the reader. My mom succeeded in developing my pre-reading skills by playing rhyming games with me, completing matching tasks and just making sure I realized what reading was about in the first place (Royer). I give all the credit for my successful and fast learning to read to my mom. She made the whole process fun and enjoyable. The transition from her reading to me to me reading by myself was gradual. At first she was the reader and I was the listener. Then we would switch parts – she would read a few paragraphs and then it was my turn to read a little bit. I remember reading seemed rather challenging to me at first, but my Mom was very patient with me and step-by-step we got to a point where I could read almost without any help. She constantly encouraged me to read till it was I who was reading to her and not vice versa. What’s more, she seemed to always choose the books that were very interesting to me, so this fact kept me motivated to improve my reading skills. When I realized that reading wasn’t that much of a challenge, I developed an intense interest for books. Once my word-recognition skills were strong reading became faster and even more fun. After this I started getting more and more books among my Birthday presents and Christmas presents, which made me very delighted. Learning to read didn’t make me like sports less, but it certainly secured the place of books in the list of my usual pastime activities. To say that reading was pleasurable to me is to say the least. I absolutely loved it. I enjoyed discovering new characters, tracing their histories and sharing my impressions of the book or story with however would listen.
When I was growing up my absolutely favorite book was “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll. It constitutes an essential part of my childhood memories and it still remains one of the most charming and intriguing books I’ve ever read. But when I was a child the appeal of this book to me was totally irresistible. The world of Alice’s imagination was so inviting and fascinating and I simply couldn’t put the book down till I finished at least a chapter. Colorful characters, unexpected twists of plot, witty humor – all these wonderful components combined made me love the “Alice in Wonderland” book more than others. The girl’s adventures in the fantasy world made me look for wonders in the world around me.
Another book that I would like to name among my favorites is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I must admit that my affection for it is partly conditioned by my love for Christmas as a holiday. However, the book itself is a true masterpiece. It stands to reason, that at young age I wasn’t able to fathom the depth of symbolism the author resorts to and appreciate the powerful insight into the human nature, but I was certainly able to appreciate the fascinating plot, which kept me in suspense till the last page, and the vividly depicted characters. Certain parts of the book were so touching that that I kept replaying them in my mind long after I finished the book. One might think that “A Christmas Carol” can only be fully appreciated and understood by a mature person, but I believe that it also has its particular charm for the younger readers. When I first read it, it was not a truthful depiction of the Industrial Revolution, but an exciting ghost story with a clear morale about kindness beating greed in the long run. Speaking about my reading habits today I should mention the following: highlighting and mouthing the words while I read. The former helps me to memorize the information better and the latter helps to improve the understanding of it.
In conclusion I should say that my early reading experience was very comfortable and enjoyable. My mom’s reading to me appears to be one of my best childhood memories. I am very grateful to her for laying the foundation of my reading skills and instilling the love for literature in me.
Royer, James Mike. The Importance of Reading to Your Child, 2004