Mark Twain said, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
I just read an excellent article about teaching kids to LOVE reading at Parenting Magazine. Here's the address: http://www.parenting.com/article/-/-/The-Best-Way-to-Teach-Kids-to-Read/1 (I wish I knew how to embed addresses rather than just pasting them in...)
The authors focused on how to encourage their interest in the stories and sounds of words, rather than focusing on teaching them how to read.
That's my goal! I don't want my kids to be able to read, but hate to sit down with a book. I want them to LOVE books, and the pleasure they can find in exploring a new world through words.
When I was teaching english at Chrysalis, my goal was to encourage kids to enjoy reading, rather than seeing it as a chore- I worked with several kids who HATED reading. Hating the work, hated the words. I felt so sad for them. Man, they miss out on so much!
I will never forget the first time I read a Nancy Drew story, or Skippy Jon Jones, or The Wizard of Oz, or The Forgotten Key... so many wonderful stories. I LOVE to read! Books have been my doorway to understanding other people, other times in history, other races, other beliefs... I am a better person because of my love of books.