FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2010
Why reading aloud is for losers
Reading aloud is for losers
Yes. It’s true.
[Note: If you are a child skip down to the part that begins with "Reading aloud is for winners"]
Some parents (Dads - I am looking at you) who have not yet started reading aloud to their kids on a daily basis, still hope that they can have their cake and eat it too.
But if you are about to embark on the read-aloud ferry, it is high time you faced the brutal facts.
The very day you start reading aloud, automatically you will become a loser.
There is no magic trick that can change this. Say it aloud - it will start the healing process. My name is ______ ______, I will read to my kids every day and I will be a loser.
Check out what you will end up losing if you start a read aloud habit in your home.
1. Free time
You will have to invest some time. No question.
There is no magic gadget that can read aloud for you.
Set aside for a second all those the interactive books, edutainment TV shows, child-friendly software... oh yes, and CDs, DVDs, Ipads, Ipods.
These are all supplementary things - if you wish. They are not “reading aloud”.
Bump up the numbers if you wish, but the three components must be there. A reader, a listenerand a book.
It's not about one DVD player, one child and one disk.
So, yes. You do have to invest time.
Yes it means that you may not be able to watch the latest episode of your favorite show or go five times to the gym, or go for that weekend poker game sometimes.
Parenting is about sacrifice.
But you know this already.
Maybe it’s the cost that is turning you off?
Plus the kid will learn to read and get acquainted with books at school, anyway?
Try not buying a book. You've got more money in your pocket! Try not buying 10 books, even more money!
Don't go to the library with your kid - more time to work, or write that blog, or play that tennis match.
But at what price are you getting this? Is it really cheaper?
If you don't pay for something at the tollbooth, you'll pay for it at the turnpike.
Reading aloud isn't really about the reading. It's about the connection and the relationship. It’s about learning together, not about tutoring.
A smaller investment today will make a much greater impact tomorrow.
Reading aloud is not only about reading – it is about instilling the love for books at an early age.
If you miss that moment ... you missed it forever.
Invest a little time and money now watch your (cute little) investment mature - literally.
Loss of sleep?
Life is hard. We are sleeping less than we need. Reading aloud is merely a hobby they say.
But ask yourself, is reading aloud really taking away from your sleep ... or is it nibbling away from your time allocated for something else.
The World Series and the NBA playoffs, perhaps?
Your favorite sitcom?
TV is the most selfish of all your family members. It only takes away time and never gives it back in any form.
And yes ... The Internet. Don't let me start on that one - I'm guilty as hell.
Send the right message to the greatest time gobblers of them all, TV and Internet.
Don’t send that message (“I’m busy”) to your kid.
So, it is good news in fact. You will not lose sleep.
But if you do, don't blame your read-aloud sessions.
Reading aloud is for winners (for children)
Kids, isn't it time you faced the facts?
You are a winner.
Say it aloud - you know it makes sense.
My name is ______ ______, my parents read to me every day and I am a winner.
Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
Yes, that's the happy truth. Every day that your parents spent reading to you and discussing what you read together, they helped to expand your knowledge and boost your interest in the wider world around you.
Now, you have to think twice before taking a book into your hands.
There are so many good books around you, so you had to learn to become selective - your interests are so wide. You love fiction, history, science, arts, architecture, world politics and poetry.
Check out what you could have lost had your parents (thanks Mom & Dad!) not made that fateful decision to start a daily read aloud habit in your home.
1. Free time
You would be hooked on TV by now, had books not entered your blood. Of course, you would know all the cartoons on all the channels – but your attention span would range around 7 minutes (just as the advertisements trained you).
And game consoles would rule your world – day and night.
Reading aloud with your parents helped you to cover so many books and topics together that you didn’t have to play catch up at kindergarten and there was no need to try to make up lost ground in school.
Oh, yes, and everybody compliments you on your rich vocabulary. Well, it came as a bonus!
Reading aloud was about: Dad & Mom, you and books.
Childhood was about imagination and adventure. Life is full of opportunities. And it is up to you to choose.
It is just a question of where do you want to apply your knowledge in life.
But you know this already.
Wealth is a complex word. It's not just cash.
School and learning came naturally to you and as a result your prospects are much better than average.
Better prospects for university, better prospects for scholarships will lead to better and more creative jobs. Better paid ones as well.
That investment by your parents matured and it was invested in the best investment vehicle of all – in you!
But it’s not about the money for you. It’s all about the communication channels that you opened up with your parents. It is easier for you to talk to your parents about many topics, compared to your peers and their parents.
How can you quantify the sheer amount of knowledge and exposure to different cultures and ideas?
Easy – you can sum it in one word.
You were one of those few kids in your generation that looked forward to bedtime. Strange - when you come to think of it.
But yes, it was a natural process of winding down, of sharing a new exciting adventure or picture book with your Mom and Dad.
Reading aloud is merely a hobby they say.
Well, it wasn’t for you.
Through reading you came into direct contact with the greatest minds of the human race. And they even spoke to you with your dad’s voice!
It still seems incredible to be able to remember those days when you were a toddler, jumping on the bed and listening to Mom reading about Christopher Robin and his uneven socks.
Reading aloud before another peaceful night, was simply the best part of the day.
It was all about love.
Reading aloud is indeed for losers, but your kid will end up a winner.