Jeff and I are so pleased to introduce our first guest blogger on ED-ucation Publishing!! Jennifer's post on eBooks and the importance of reading really resonated with us and we are so excited to have her join our community!! Follow her musings and blurbs on Twitter or learn more about her awesome work on her website.
Nowadays, children are seeing reading as a daunting task or as a race to learn new things. They tend to ditch books in favor of digital devices. For them, reading is a chore and not fun at all. According to the National Literacy Trust’s 2006 research; the number of engaged readers decreased from 77% to 65% between 1998 and 2003. Most of them prefer watching television rather than going to the library to read, since most households have more electronic gadgets than books.
In a society that’s already wired, how can we encourage our children to pick up a book and read?
Tech is Your Friend
As mobile gadgets become more ubiquitous, we usually see them as learning distractions. But if well-developed content is paired with these devices, they can be effective tools for reading. In fact, Scholastic’s 2013 report revealed that children between the ages of 9 to 17 would definitely read more books if they had access to ebooks. Smartphones like the iPhone 5S can definitely help them gain access to thousands of ebooks online, thanks to its ultra-fast wireless feature. O2’s page states that it supports more networks, which let users experience faster download speeds. This encourages children to read since they have more resources at hand.
Always Lead By Example
There’s one perpetual truth that we often forget: children look up to us. As adults, they see us as their guides and they often emulate us. It’s important to show them that we find pleasure in reading, and it should be genuine. Select a good book, pick a comfortable corner, and start reading. Encourage them to get their own book and sit with you. Read with them, answer their questions, and ask another one about what they just read. Make it a habit to also visit the public library; let them touch and see a universe of words and imagination.
Don’t Take It Too Seriously
For most adults, reading is a serious matter and it should be taken with utmost reverence -- but not too seriously. This is one of the main reasons why children are turned-off by reading; they see it as a “serious task.” Why not inject a little humor while reading their favorite book and laugh with them? Reading should always be treated as a pleasurable experience, not as a form of punishment.
Let Them Read What They Want
Author Neil Gaiman believes that there’s no such thing as a bad book for children. In an interview with The Guardian, he gave his two cents about children and reading “well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading.” For him, we shouldn’t give materials which we think is good for them; rather, we should be guiding them to what they want to read. Suppressing their desire to explore literature will only create a generation that thinks of reading as a very unpleasant experience. Hence, we should allow them to read what they want. Let them enjoy and love the experience.
A Book a Day Keeps the Doldrums Away
Boredom is like a black hole sucking all the fun, excitement, motivation from our daily lives. Although, children are a little bit more resilient to it than adults, they can still suffer from it. Well, books can actually help them keep the doldrums at bay. Since reading can help us escape the real world, it’s an effective way to keep our mind pre-occupied. Aside from reading, we can also encourage them to write about what they read. How they felt about it and maybe, their own fictional story. A book doesn’t only bring us to new realms; it also helps us create new ones.
Books keep the collective thoughts and experience of our ancestors. It’s a glimpse into their past and our future. Let our children explore these and reap the rewards of knowledge and wisdom.
Photo courtesy of slightly everything via Flickr Creative Commons