|Cathy and Friend|
A DEAR friend of mine and a fellow homeschool parent and blogger, Cathy Earle, recently posted this on Facebook and I asked her if I could just pass it along "as is" and she was happy to let me.
For all of the parents who just want their children to PICK UP A BOOK, here is a wonderful story for you!
was once asked to teach a voluntary after-school class for kids who
go to public school and who were resistant to reading. They thought
they didn't like reading, and I was asked to try to motivate them to
Of course one thing the kids in the
class and I discussed for a few minutes was the idea that they did,
in fact, read and enjoy reading -- when it was text messages and ____
[the kids filled in the blank with the kinds of things that they read
as they pursued their interests--whether it was help boards for a
video game or messages from an internet forum]...
out, "So, you guys DO like to read. When adults complain that
you don't read, or don't like to read, they're talking about what?"
And the kids agreed that it was books that adults wanted them to
read. Textbooks, novels and other literature assigned for classes,
and books for "pleasure reading" -- but which they never
chose to do.
I forthrightly told the kids that I, too, usually
felt quite resistant to whatever reading was assigned to me, but that
I loved reading things I chose to read. And I told them that I had
brought a pile of paperbacks that I loved, and that I hoped that some
of them would love some of them, too.
And then I poured a
mountain of paperbacks onto the front table, and grabbed them one at
a time and gave a one-sentence sales pitch for each. I read the
beginnings of many. The kids were champing at the bit to borrow those
specific books to continue reading them. A lot of kids did read the
books they borrowed, and a lot of them enjoyed the books. In some
cases, they LOVED the books. Sometimes, not so much. No matter what,
we were able to talk in class about the books we were all reading,
and many times it was the kids' recommendations, more than my "sales
pitch," that got others to borrow and re-borrow and pass on and
on the more popular books.
I don't mind requiring reading in a
class that is voluntary. But compulsory reading in a compulsory class
is, in my opinion, just not cool. And it often ends affecting kids
and their reading habits in a negative way rather than a positive
Please read more by Kathy at her blog:
Thanks Kathy Earle!
Welcome to my readers in Hong Kong!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: Homeschooling: Chapter One
Or you may enjoy reading: More Writing Prompts
Or try: Great Reads for Teens and Tweens: For the Love of a Good Gook