Children should be read to every day at home, no exceptions, no excuses! Children are read to at school every day, but nothing can take the place of mom or dad reading a story every night… especially right before bedtime. When I was teaching first grade, along with the daily reading instruction that was taking place in my classroom, I was required to give a standardized reading test individually to each and every child twice a year. One of the first questions that I was required to ask during the reading test was “Who reads with you at home”. A few children always said ‘no one’ but the remaining children always answered immediately with “mom”. Not once in all of the times that I gave this test (we’re talking hundreds of test sessions) did a child every say ‘dad’. Dads, where are you when your child is being read to, or reading outloud at night? Your child needs YOU, or an uncle, or a grandfather who is available every day to read to your child. Dad, your child needs to see that you value books, the ability to read and enjoy them, and the process in which your child will become a lifelong reader. Dads, think about the message that you are sending your child when you are not involved at all in the reading process. You may not realize it but the message that your child is receiving is that you do not put any value or importance on reading and the ability to learn to read. Think about it. Is this really the message that you want to send your very impressionable young child? I don’t think so. Start tonight… Start a new evening tradition, grab a book, a comfy reading spot (chair or bed) and surprise your child with the wonder of a story read by dad. You will be happy after the story and I guarantee that your child will even be happier than you will be.