Sunday, January 14, 2007

How I learned to read by Br

How I learned to read

When I was little I saw my mother reading. When she read books to me, I thought ‘that looks so fun,’ so I wanted to read too. So I began with easy reader ones (from the library). At first it was with great difficulty, and I wished that I could hold the book in my hand and read just right away. But I couldn’t. Then I got into easy readers 2 and then easy readers 3. My mum helped me a lot with learning how to read. I’d point out words and then write them down and try to remember them. And my sister helped me. And when I was really little, my mum gave me cards with words on them. My sister helped me too. She’d point out words on a page and make me find the word on the page and read it. Or she would have me read a sentence by myself with her help. Finally, I started to read Pony Pal books which are for kids and have actual chapters in them.

mother’s note: I interviewed Paul Kropp a couple years ago because I was concerned with trends I see around kids and reading. Like parents who will only let their kid take a book out at the library that's in a certain area or section ("no you can't take that book. It's too advanced for you. Go to the beginner readers section please," mum says to her child). Parents who prevent kids from reading material they want to read.

It’s a tough call; I’m not crazy about pony pals and I admit I am a snob when it comes to literature. But hey, Kropp has a point when he says "From what I have observed over the last 20, 30 years, I could not say that parents choices for their children are any better than kids choices for themselves. Probably more important for the average child than quality reading is what we might call bulk reading. It does not really matter that some official child hood classic be placed on the shelf and be read over and over again. What really matters is that something a child really enjoys and we never really know what that is going to be, is on the shelf so the kid can pick it up. The favorite book phenomena Can’t be a library book. And it may not be a book you like!"

"Kropp proposes a one to one deal; if you are going to a book store then the child gets to choice one book no questions asked and the a parents another, a trade off that will work pretty well for children up to 8 to16. Individual choice is acknowledged.

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