Reading is FUN-damental!
I heard Jim Trelease speak last night at my son's elementary school. He's the author of the Read Aloud Handbook, as well as several others, and his message is simple; kids who love reading do far better in school than kids who don't. I almost didn't attend because I knew this already and my son loves reading so I thought I wouldn't learn anything. But I did, like don't force your kids to read. The enjoyment factor is critical. Second, even if your kids are reading on their own, you should still be reading aloud to them, preferably from books that are a little beyond them. They will get new words, new stories, new ideas from this, not to mention the bonding that goes on when you curl up with your child and read to them. This I did not know, so I got some books from Jim's list to get started right away. I've missed reading aloud--my inner ham comes out as I do voices and characters. I love it as much as he does.