Where Have All the Booklovers Gone?

here Have All the Booklovers Gone? Where have All the Book Lovers gone? By William B. Ongsitco (www. thenewstoday. info, September 11, 2008) In my conversations with parents in the school where I work, one of the favorite topics is fostering among the young people the love for reading. For some of them, this is a real concern. In a generation saturated by iPods, online games, and media blitz, it is not surprising to see book lovers getting lesser and lesser. But wait, does it really pay to be a young reading aficionado? Ah, there’s no doubt about it.

Ask any teacher who has taught for at least a year and he can assure you that book lovers have a cutting edge that helps them a great deal in accomplishing their academic demands. For educators, it is a fact that wide readers do much better in school compared with those who simply pick up their text books because there’s going to be an exam the next day. | | It’s very interesting how some parents managed to raise kids who take great delight in reading. Here are some of their secrets. Read to your kids.

Smart parents start reading to their children as soon as the latter can appreciate stories. And they read to them whenever there’s an opportunity. They recite to their kids stories, kiddy poems, limericks and even the tiny words on candy wrappers. While riding in a jeepney or a bus, they unlock to their children the meanings of the words they see around the city-on stores, buildings, hotels, and many more. In this way, young children begin to see the wonders behind the words they encounter everyday. It is important however that when we read stories to children, we do it with theatrical enthusiasm and gestures.

Children will love reading if they see that those who know how to read take delight in doing so. Allow yourself to be seen reading by your children. Kids thrive in examples. This is a principle that all parents have seen in their own children. In fact this is how very young kids assimilate language- by unconscious imitation. And if a child sees that father and mother regularly spend some time reading everyday, the chance that the child would pick up the habit of reading is much greater compared with a child who seldom sees his parents going over a literature.

Habitual reading then is something well worth acquiring on the part of the parents even if only to help their children develop early love for books and magazines. Tell your kids about the latest book you’re reading. It is indeed a great idea to share them the latest stories we’ve read. When children see that books are sources of awesome information, their reading interest is heightened. And there are countless of opportunities for the sharing. One can do this while taking a meal, strolling on a beach, or even while doing a chore with a child.

By the way, it would be good for parents to read about matters that interest their children. For instance, if a boy is very curious about dinosaurs, it is advisable that parents read up on this topic and tell their kid that they have gotten the information from a certain book. It is almost sure that the boy will pick up that book to satisfy all his curiosities about dinosaurs. Have plenty of interesting and good books at home. While any printed materials can help children learn how to read, it is much better to expose them to value-laden books and magazines.

In this way, we hit two birds with one stone- they learn to read and they get to know what is right and what is wrong. Parents have to be extra careful with the reading materials that penetrate their homes. Even the seemingly innocuous teen magazines may actually contain information that can undermine the values you teach your children. Likewise, let us keep again in mind the interest of the children as we select the books we will display at home. Regulate television viewing and playing of video games.

This last advice is really crucial. Habitual reading of books and addiction to TV or video games are incompatible. Children who are often found riveted to their television set or whose only delight is spending hours and hours playing computer games often find it very difficult to develop the habit of reading. The explanation is very simple. Most of the kiddy shows such as cartoons do not encourage sustained concentration on children. Many of the programs we see on TV are simply there to give pure entertainment.

Unlike reading which often requires focus, active thinking and effort to imagine, most of the TV programs simply require passive viewing. Much of the information are transmitted through flashy images and exciting sounds. And when kids are used to getting information in this way, and sure enough video games are included in this category, then they find reading really boring. All these practical advice my require parents to change some of their personal habits. But considering the great benefits they could bring to the whole family, altering some of our practices is certainly worth all the effort.

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