A few weeks ago I looked at my husband and said to him, “Let’s subscribe to a print edition of the local paper.” He thought I was nuts. We live in an age of digital glory. You can not only access your local paper online, but every else’s local paper too! Still, I had my reasons for this desire so I shared them with him. After careful consideration, he agreed, and now every Sunday we get the local paper in print! Keep reading to learn why!
Why We Subscribed to a Print Edition of Our Newspaper
“Newspapers and magazines are the home’s “soft” library. For a century they were commonplace enough to be taken for granted. But behind the scenes they were conditioning children to print. All those articles and headlines coupled with so many reading role models spending so much time waving print flags called newspapers and magazines — they were literary torches passed from parent to child.”
-The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
01. It’s critical for our children to see adults reading.
I’m a reader by nature. I love reading novels. I read non-fiction too. My girls see me read all the time. My husband, however, doesn’t enjoy reading novels. He reads. He reads often. But his reading comes in the form of online news articles, political updates on Twitter, and movie blogs. He loves reading about those things, but they’re all on a screen. Children don’t know if you’re playing a game on your phone or reading an article about climate change. It’s just a phone.
It’s this reason alone that I explained to my husband that our children needed to see us with print. Waving it in their faces. Engraining images of us reading the paper, magazines, news, books, into their memory. Do you have memories of a family member who read the paper?
02. It helps children feel connected with the world around them.
Reading the Fall musical’s show times with my 4-year-old in the “Community Events” section of our local paper helps her feel a sense of community. It allows her to make the connection that other people like musicals too. Or reading about upcoming events. New construction. Children are so much more in tune with their surroundings than we are. Sometimes G will notice berries on the side of the road, and ask me if they’re ripe. I didn’t see berries, and I wasn’t even looking around for anything other than the same old boring sites. She notices so much more than I realize. Talking with her about events and updates in our community is truly helpful and exciting for a child’s expanding worldview.
03. Children need lots of exposure to non-fiction material.
It’s also worth noting that magazines, newspaper, or non-fiction of any kind is useful for children to have exposure to. Did you like reading non-fiction as teen? Or even like reading at all? If you create a culture of reading articles and staying up-to-date with current events, chances are your children might too! Try it out. What do you have to lose?
I hope today’s post inspired you to read more in front of your children, and maybe even pick up a newspaper! If we want our children to be readers, we must first model that behavior! Thank you so much for reading!