How I Learned to Read

“The more that you read the more things you will know.” Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut. Reading has always been a great source of knowledge. I consider myself lucky to know not only how to read but also read and speak three languages; Arabic, English, and French. Reading novels, newspapers, and science articles has always filled most of my time. Before I learned how to read in kindergarten, my grandpa used to teach me one alphabetical letter, by pronouncing it out loud and making me repeat it, every time I visited him to be primed to learn the alphabet when school starts.

Like any kid in the world, I didn’t read a lot when I learned how to read in kindergarten because I’d rather have played with my toys instead. However, I became more interested in reading after my parents brought interesting stories, such as Pat and Bunny and Owl Moon. I started reading them while I was lying on my bed before I went to sleep. Hearing a new interesting story every night made me interested in reading stories by myself. Once I told my dad that I was interested in reading stories by myself, he bought me a big desk with a leather chair for reading. This encouraged me to read because I felt comfortable and  important sitting on the leather chair.

One of the things that encouraged me to read stories was every time I finished a story, my parents gave me a prize. Although I loved reading for for prizes, everything changed in the beginning of my first grade year at school. The reading assignments from school made me hate reading. First, because I was forced to read certain kinds of books. Second, the reading level of the books was much harder than the ones I read.

In my second grade year, science and math were turning points in making me read. I always liked my math and science classes at school, and these two classes made me interested in reading more science articles and math problems. Learning new things in math and science made me think about the importance of reading to learn new things in my life, such as why do people need water or why do we need math in our lives.  

However, my strengths as a reader became weaknesses after I moved to the United States because of the language differences. For example, I always loved reading stories in Arabic at bedtime, but reading stories in English is less enjoyable because it’s harder to understand because I am still mastering English. Also, I was a fast reader in Arabic but I became slower in English. In addition, I was strong in reading comprehension in Arabic, but not as strong in English, which got better over years.  

Clearly, even though reading or learning how to read might be difficult, I still think that it’s worth doing because of the knowledge I will learn.