My father loved classical music. His favorite radio station was WOI-FM (90.1). His only complaint was that they played jazz music in the early evenings. I can still remember him wondering why anyone would want to listen to that kind of music.
He would be completely and totally happy that Iowa Public Radio now offers a classics only station.
I was slower to come to that love of classical music. As I was growing up, I tolerated it. Repeated exposure to concerts, radio, and albums meant that some of it soaked in.
It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties and had moved 4 hours away that I came to appreciate classical music. Perhaps it was a connection to my childhood or perhaps it was just that my musical “taste buds” had grown up.
Whatever the reason, I listened then and listen now to classical music, recognizing those old favorites from earlier days and finding new favorites on my own.
Reading regularly and often to your child is much the same, I think.
There is no lack of statistical information that shows the benefits of exposing children to words and language and books.
What those reports don’t study is the effect of sitting down with your child or grandchild on a sofa or with them in your lap and sharing that time with them, giving them your undivided attention for thirty minutes or more.
Parents offer ask us why one child likes to read and another one doesn’t. My answer is often along the lines of “Don’t worry – it will click at some point.”
Whether those times pay off immediately or at some point in the future, the memories that are created will last forever. The words and language you have exposed them to are immediate payoffs.
Trust me – I know from experience.