The San Francisco Examiner recently ran an article: “ Children love to read, especially when they read actual books” http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/03/children-love-read-especially-when-they-read-actual-books which made the point that although reading devices abound with new gadgets readily available, children are actually reading books—the ones that come with real pages. A point that seemed to be missing in the article was the fact that many children say they don’t like to read and we know that California’s students’ ability to read is ranked 49th in the country by the U.S. Department of Education. So what is going wrong? We know that pleasure needs to drive reading and it makes sense that children who are good readers like to read. Children become good readers when they read for meaning —not to be confused with children who read the words of a book but who do not necessarily understand what they read. Children only read for story and if they are working too hard at reading the words, they cannot get to the story. Offer children books where they can easily get to the story and talk with them about the story.
Talking about a story is how children better understand what they read and become involved with the story. There is no magic formula for raising children who love to read but there is a winning equation. Read a book, ask a question, start a conversation.” Let there be no doubt: Children who get more from the books they read are children who love to read.”