It’s no secret how important good reading ability is. With only one-third of American school children reading at a proficient level, a student who not only reads but understands a book has a clear advantage over the rest of his peers.
It is for this reason that many engaged parents follow the 1862 exhortation of Henry Ward Beecher and surround their children with books:
“No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them. It is a wrong to his family. He cheats them! Children learn to read by being in the presence of books. The love of knowledge comes with reading and grows upon it. And the love of knowledge, in a young mind, is almost a warrant against the inferior excitement of passions and vices.”
But while simply surrounding children with good books is a great start, we all know that the knowledge of books is not imparted through osmosis. The books have to be first ingested and then digested in order to produce students who are well-rounded thinkers.