Saturday, January 19, 2008

"If children are to become readers...they must first love stories"

The Telegraph [UK] has a very wise article about the best way to get children to read:
Of course we must and should study literature in our schools, but first we have to imbue our children with a love of stories.

And to do that, parents and teachers have to have a passion for stories themselves: they have to pass it on. The children have to know that you mean it, you feel it, you love it. And a teacher needs to find the space - correction, the Government needs to give them the space in the curriculum - so that she or he can read stories to the children for at least half an hour a day. [....]

We get ourselves all hot and bothered about the teaching of reading, about synthetic phonics and the like, and we forget that none of it is much use unless children want to read in the first place. The motivation must come first, horse before cart. We all know that unless a child is motivated to learn, then there will be apathy or resistance in the learning process. They are much more likely to want to deal with the difficulties of learning to read if they know it is these words that give them access to all these wonderful stories. If we really want our children to become readers for life, we would do well to remember that horses are much more fun than carts anyway. [more]
The Telegraph also offers some reading lists with a lot of great titles:

  • Part 1: Early years

  • Part 2: Middle years

  • Part 3: Early teens
  • Children's books: 'If children are to become readers for life, they must first love stories' - Telegraph


    1. We've been reading A.A. Milne's Winnie "ther" Pooh to our 3 year old for the past few months at bed time. Yesterday morning while sitting on the potty he said . . "Some potties do and some don't. You never can tell with potties."

      We've recently begun Beatrix Potter's "The Fairy Caravan". His vocabulary has grown considerably. I love the stories, especially Milne's. Pooh and his friends have a lot of attitude and personality. Despite Pooh "being a bear of very little brain" he has some very good insights.

      Thanks for the list!

    2. That's great. One of the advantages is that you have an excuse to read the stories yourself.


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