I’ll never forget the woman who came to me desperate for reading help for her two children in public school. I loaned her book after book for them, answered as many questions as she had, gave advice up the wazoo. Still she struggled with teaching them, and they with learning. Six months later, there was some improvement, and she asked if there was more she could do.
I asked her how much reading did she do – did she read the paper? Have favorite books? Did the kids see her read?
“Oh God no!” she answered, “There’s too much to do! I have a house to clean and look after. Who has time to read?”
It was then I knew I had lost her.
I didn’t help her much after that. How can you help people who refuse to help themselves? How can children love reading when their parents hold it either in contempt or just a thing you do to get somewhere else?