Saturday, October 9, 2010

Reading


I am an avid reader. Anyone who knows me knows that I find time to read no matter how busy my life is. As an avid reader, I really hope that my kids also become avid readers because I think that reading is so strongly connected to good literacy skills.
So far, so good. I often find the boys lying down on the living room floor reading to themselves, or to each other. They also love the library and have had their own cards (almost) since birth. They approach one of us many times a day with books under their arms and ask us to read aloud to them. I love that they love books.
That's why I found the latest article in the NY Times about parents forbidding the reading of picture books so appalling. Apparently parents are feeling pressure for "little Johnny" to get ahead. In order for that to happen, they think that picture books should be discouraged after kindergarten. What?? I love picture books. In fact, I read them to grade 3s. Picture books can have a lot of thought-provoking ideas. Plus they are usually beautifully illustrated and not too long. But whether the vocabulary is simple or sophisticated, I think that the number one most important thing to get kids reading is to capture their interest and imagination. Reading should be fun. And entertaining. You should WANT to do it.
I have not met too many kids who are such voracious readers by grade one that a chapter book would maintain their interest. In fact, quite frankly, a lot of the early chapter books are quite boring; the text needs to be very simplistic for an early reader to be able to decipher it.
So, I would rather see Matias reading picture books all through his primary years than to see him turned off of reading completely.
(If you're interested, here is the link to the NY Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/us/08picture.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me )

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