Do we learn anything from history?
Last week was the 17th anniversary of the 911 attacks against us on our own soil. How much do today's teenagers, many of whom weren't even born yet, remember? I write about this in my monthly blog posting at: sweetnsexydivas.blogspot.com/2018/09/how-fickle-is-history.html
How Do You Encourage Children to Read?
Note: This post is late because there was a bridal shower on Saturday, so all of my kids who live out of state, returned to stay here for the weekend. This month's Round Robin question is very near and dear to my heart. In my "real life", I'm a certified high school English teacher. But my second job is tutoring, and my students there are in younger grades. And I raised four of my own kids, all of whom are readers. So how do you compete with everything else that clamors for their attention these days?
First of all, read to your kids beginning when they are babies, if not before. My husband used to laugh about other husbands reading to their wives' baby bumps, but he joined me in reading to our kids as soon as they were born.
Once they were old enough to follow stories longer than Dr. Seuss, we began to read chapter books to them. The idea is to teach them how to imagine the story in their minds, as you seduce them with the sound of your voice reading to them. They're getting your attention, as well as hearing a good story. And with multiple kids, all of them can hear each others' stories, and enjoy them too.
I stayed home with our kids during the day, working at night and weekends. So I'd take them to library story hours, and as soon as I could, I got each of them their own library cards. They loved to walk around, staring at the shelves of books, and choosing anything that caught their eyes.
Every summer when we'd go on a week or more-long trip camping, I'd choose a book to read each night after dinner, around the campfire. Yes, I used to get swamped with bugs, since I needed a flashlight to read. But it was a way for all of us to enjoy a book at the same time. That way we could discuss it together, talking about parts we liked or didn't like, and speculating about what would happen next. And don't be afraid to read adult books to kids. My husband read them all of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques...he also read them all of the Lord of the Rings books...at least twice. I read them all of the Harry Potter books, the Christopher Chance books, the Boneless King books by Laurence Yep, the Artemis Fowl books, and any other series' that they were interested in.
But don't assume that enjoying being read to, will automatically translate to wanting to read on their own. My first son was a reluctant reader when he got to school. I tried to interest him in the Goosebumps books, but he quickly got frustrated with the cliffhangers at the end of every chapter. So I found a series that he liked, in his case, Animorphs, and I'd read to him first, about twenty minutes. I'd wait until it got to a really exciting part. Then I'd make a big deal out of looking at my watch, stretching, and yawning, then I'd tell him that I'd read more the next night. I'd put the bookmark in the book, and leave it next to his bed. Then I'd move to the next room, to read to someone else. Later, I'd peek down the hall and see that his light was still on. Yup, he had to know what would happen next, so he began to read on his own!
The last and most important advice I have is to let your kids see you reading. That way they see that this isn't something that parents and teachers force kids to do, but something that can bring pleasure to you at any age. Encourage them to talk about what they read with you, and you can learn more about your own kids, as they develop their own thoughts. And you will know that you've given them a gift that will last them a lifetime: the love of reading.
To find out what other authors have as advice, check out the next name on the list:Rhobin L Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com
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