Tuesday, March 3, 2009

How to make a reader?

I've been obsessed lately with wondering why some children turn into such avid readers, and some never learn to truly like what is one of my life's greatest joys. It's not intelligence, as I was blessed with two bright kids, one who turned in a reader who reads much deeper subjects than I can tackle, and another who never even wanted to listen to stories. Do it's not a simple matter of reading to them, I did with both. Or tried!

I polled some good friends, but found little consensus. One, a child development teacher, found what worked for her four children was limiting TV and reading to them extensively. But I did both with both my kids. She's raised four bright successful adults who are readers. Another, mother of five, states it's exposure to booksand following up any clues if they seem to like a certain book or author. Very good points, and with today's libraries fairly easy if a child gets a fix on a certain author like Nancy Drew. Which my granddaughter did last year, so my friend's advice is not out of date. A third friend, has one reader and one non-reader like me, both bright and simply with different inclinations. She's thinks it's like so many other traits, a parent gets what he's dealt.

I've mentioned in my biography how my father's early death forced my mother back to teaching, and how I wasn't allowed out of the house until she came home. With no TV and lots of library books I became a compulsive reader. Will read cereal boxes if nothing else is handy! Incidentally, some them their blurbs are pretty funny, although they may not always know it.

Certainly if you don't do anything as a parent, let the TV time be unlimited, don't provide them with books, don't read to them, you cut down the chances. Yet I think some children simply can't be stopped from becoming readers. They'll find books on their own no matter what.

So I'm still puzzled...


Kymrukatz said...

I'd hope that some children become readers whatever the circumstances. However, seeing the youngsters who frequent the library where I work, I have my doubts. They don't come for the books. They come for free computer access. One regular will spend up to three hours just playing computer games or watching music videos. I've seen his handwriting. It would shame a five-year-old. His spelling is as bad. He's in his teens.

Regina Carlysle said...

Both of my kids are readers...big time. For me, the key was to carefully watch their interests. For example, my daughter seemed really interested in the paranormal. I bought her the very first Harry Potter. She turned her nose up at the book for about a year while still very interested in the paranormal. Finally, stranded at home on a rainy afternoon, she picked it up and DEVOURED it. She read all subsequent books and even stood in lines to get them. Now she's grown and reads Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, and Kresley Cole plus many others.

Same with my son. Started on Harry and move up to Salvatore and others.

It was just a matter of steering them toward their interests and making sure the books were available to them.

Great post, Jean!