Monday, November 07, 2005

Encouraging Children to Read

You can never force children to read. To do so would be counter-productive. If you force them to read they would actually stay away from it. Yet at the same time you have to make it as interesting as playing a video game or watching cartoons.

My nephews, like most children of our present age are bombarded by images fast and enticing like the ones on television, films and video games. Well to be fair there are advantages and benefits to being adept at new technologies. Yet a book is still a book.

You do not need to plug a book in. It will not shock you. No worms or viruses can make it crash. Ok, some invertebrates will eventually devour it slowly if certain precautions are not taken. In order to view it you need sunlight or an incandescent bulb. The chances are that it is going to be outmoded by the next model is slight. All you need is interest in order to operate it.

Interest that is the key.

In our family we regulate the use of television. We set-up specific times for viewing cartoons and playing games. Somewhere in between that we were able to introduce reading time.

It was difficult at first. Trying to find the interest of my nephews. The two although brothers are as similar as Felix and Oscar in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, the reference might be a bit old, the bottom line is they have different tastes.

In the end we told them they cannot watch TV but they can pick whatever books they want to read. In the end they picked the same set of books. Stories by Dr Seuss, Books about snakes and crocodiles, Peter Rabbit books and comic books. The books came from all over; Some were my old books, some new ones and some second hand books.

Their favourites:

1. The Cat in the Hat
2. Green Eggs and Ham
3. Dr Doom
4. I Don't Like to Eat!
5. A Snake book
6. Where the Wild Things Roam
7. The Five Chinese Brothers

and others

5 Comments:

Blogger Ivan Chew said...

"Interest is the Key". Very true. While being interviewed on a radio station once, I said if parents wanted their children to read, then parents must be seen reading too. Leadership by Example.

1:32 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Ivan, Yes it is futile to force things on them. They read what they want to and often look at their elders and friends if they read or what they read. :)

4:15 PM  
Blogger eruannie said...

reading is a culture that must be cultivated among te young. aside from parents and adults as models of the reading habit, we can also provide our kids with an environment rich in literacy development.

will write a similar thread in my blog :-)

btw - do you have websites and resources about indexing and abstracting to recommend? for my MA. TIA

10:07 AM  
Blogger juned said...

Eruannie,
You can try these sites:

http://www.niso.org/standards/

http://www.niso.org/standards/standard_detail.cfm?std_id=514

http://www.wcsu.edu/library/odlis.html

9:44 AM  
Blogger eruannie said...

juned, thanks :-)

2:46 PM  

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