Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in Your Child

Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in Your Child

Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in Your Child

Taking Books to Heart: How to Develop a Love of Reading in Your Child

Excerpt

Richard C. Anderson

The big question in this country is not whether children can read, but whether they will read. Regrettably, public discussions about learning to read usually miss this fundamental point, focusing instead on whether phonics is being taught properly, or whether minimum competency examinations will pull test scores up. But most children do master word identification (or "decoding"). Most youths do develop at least minimum competency as readers.

What American children and youth do not do is read frequently. There is recent evidence that the average middle-grade child reads books for pleasure no more than four to five minutes per day outside of school. This should be of great concern to parents because an ample amount of reading is essential for the development of high levels of proficiency. One would not expect a person to become a skilled pianist by merely practicing scales, never playing a composition: nor would it be possible to become a skilled basketball player by merely practicing free throws and dribbling, never playing the game. It is the same with reading. Reading for pleasure is self-initiated practice in the whole act of reading.

The real tragedy in American education is that so few children discover the fascination of reading. This is where Taking Books to Heart . . .

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