Sunday, December 2, 2007

His Proudest Achievement

It may be that in the next few years I shall discover the cure for cancer, write the great English novel, work out how to transmute base metal into gold, or invent an ingenious in-shoe device that stops the wearer treading in dog poo, even when it's concealed in autumn leaves. But even if I do, the proudest achievement of my life will remain the same: that I taught my children to read.

That's from James Delingpole, a British writer. I love the sentiment he expresses here. He sounds like a dad who has his priorities straight.

It's clear he believes that he's responsible for his children's education. Having seen the British educational system fail at teaching kids to read, he took matters into his own hands and proved that it's not really that hard to do so.

There's another dynamic at work here, though, and that's his pride in teaching his children something as important as learning to read. Parents who take the time to do this are rewarded with the knowledge that they've given their children one of the most important skills they'll ever need. If that's not time well spent, what is?

Still, we live in a world where most people expect to see tangible, material signs of how we spend our time: new cars, big houses, designer clothes. It's important to remind ourselves that those things eventually fall apart, if they don't go out of style first, while investing time in our children gives them lifelong rewards.


Janet said...

You betcha, baby! It is definitely up there as one of my most satisfying achievements! I've done three so far....working on number four....:-)

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

I don't know if I actually taught my children to read, since both of them up and started reading before age 5, and robbed me of that achievement!

But I think I can claim credit for making them into readers--you know, people who love books and read all the time, and get something out of it--by enriching their environment with all manner of good literature! And I do count it right up there with some other major achievements of my life. In fact, if I did nothing else now until the end of my life, this one would stand out to me: My kids and I love to share our reading adventures!

Ella said...

I agree! I've just taught my eldest to read - and also to love reading - and I'm so grateful and glad that he has this skill now for the rest of his life.

Junius said...

I agree with that educating my children and teaching them other lifelong skills are also my priorities as a father.

I visited an interesting site I want to share with you the Young Entrepreneur Society from the A great documentary about successful entrepreneurs.

Barbara Frank said...

Sorry, Junius, but that link is dead.