Tag Archives: reading

Connections and Relationships

Solitary Confinement?
Many people consider books to be a solitary hobby but they are most mistaken, books bring people together in so many ways.
• The local play group have a story time, usually amongst lots of noise and crying.
• The public libraries also have baby and toddler story times so as to encourage new or new to the local area mums to meet.
• There are book cafes, book clubs, and books about book clubs (Jane Austen Book Club) which become so popular they become movies.
•There are online book clubs, such as goodreads and LibraryThing.

History to today
The earliest surviving papyrus scrolls are c2400 BC to where books today are virtual (eBooks). Many occupations rely on books, from the writer to the publisher, the book seller and the librarian, the printer and the archivist. Books are anything but solitary.

 

Babies and Toddlers

Children are introduced usually to a book that they soothe their gums with or push under the water in the bathtub. Before they are able to speak most children are read to each night until they are able to read to themselves and don’t want a good meaning parent snuggling up reading to them. Although, one father chose to read every night to his daughter until it was no longer possible, The Reading Promise: 3218 nights of reading with my father, was written by Alice Ozma, the daughter and she reveals a beautiful bond that was treasured through reading. This inspires most parents to attempt this feat but sadly, life gets in the way.

Youth

When children stop, to read a book, they are carried to various places, times, and events. They are only limited by their imagination and this allows them to recharge from the craziness of today’s busyness and demands. They are able to switch off from their real lives and any problems or issues are put to one side so that they are able to immerse themselves into the character in the book. University of Sussex, 2009 study, found that reading for 6 minutes can reduce stress levels up to 68%. Books help children overcome situations, teaching them how to deal with things like bullying or even just how to care for their new pet.

Books are not the answer to all life’s issues but they can take you to a place where no one else has been nor can enter.

Except for this one time…..

Further Reading

.A study of 17,000 people from birth indicates that reading for pleasure improves not just literacy, but maths ability too. And we will soon know whether the effects continue into adult life

New research shows works by writers such as Charles Dickens and Téa Obreht sharpen our ability to understand others’ emotions – more than thrillers or romance novels.
12 Scientific ways reading can actually improve your life.
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Community building, Early & Emergent Readers, Pre-Readers (Snuggle Books), Proficient Readers, Reading Programs, Reluctant Reader

Heart-Warming Hannah otherwise known as the time a knock on the door gave me hope for humanity.

Last Saturday morning it was cold and wet. I suppose it is to be expected when you live in the Southern Highlands in NSW, Australia. I was drinking my umpteenth mug of coffee, doing some university essay writing in my pj’s. Everyone else were either lazing about in bed or making their breakfast of toast and hot chocolates.
The house was a mess and the floors were in desperate need of a clean but I was not expecting any visitors and so I was relaxed about the way our home looked. Then to my terror, there was a knock at our door! I was hoping, actually praying, my hubby would answer the door, so I could at least put on some clothes to greet the early morning visitors but NO he stayed in bed, snoring!
With great trepidation, I opened the door slowly, to find a man and a young girl waiting patiently. My stomach sank, I assumed they were going to complain about the kids, dogs or hubby (no one would ever complain about me!) or worse, ask for a donation, as I had only a $50 note in my purse (sometimes I wish ATMs would dispense smaller currencies).
The man spoke first, he asked if I was the owner of the “little book share thingy” on my front verge, I looked over to it whilst nodding the affirmative. The dad introduced himself and his daughter, Hannah, a year 4 student, from a nearby public primary school, and that they live in a neighbouring street. Hannah, he said is a bookworm and loves the book swap. She hoped that I would not be upset as she had created a flyer/information sheet and hoped to do a letter drop, on my behalf. She had a laminated page, her prototype, to show me. It invited, kids, mums and dads, grandparents, in fact everyone to be part of this book swap. The dad expressed that they were worried my reaction could be nasty and angry that Hannah could be this presumptuous.
With tears in my eyes, I thanked her and explained that soon after my hubby put the little library onto our front verge, he had to have an emergency brain operation. Then due to the craziness of life I never got around to doing a flyer. I took solace that books were being exchanged and that several neighbours had left notes thanking me for this community building initiative. This venture act by her was what I dreamed of. This concept was no longer mine, it was taking its own life form. But I never expected a young girl of ten would do something so wonderful.

This is my dream, connecting, encouraging and enriching children’s love of books and highlighting all that is possible through books. Hannah showed me that what I believe and want is a reality, that Children DO Love Books. This has encouraged me to start a kids’ book club in our neighbourhood.

My Library Swap

My Library Swap

4 Comments

Filed under Libraries, Uncategorized

Are classics that important?

My mum had my brothers and I reading classics from an early age.  I was reading Austen, Bronte, Dickens whilst in primary school. I was not an amazing English student but I loved reading and reading classics was all I knew.  I was not allowed to read other novels. So when I was told in my first English class, in high school, we were going to read and analyse a John Steinbeck novel I was thrilled. I had already read Of Mice and Men (written 1937) and I believed that soon we would be reading Shakespeare, Tolstoy and Kafka.  My excitement and enthusiasm were soon deflated when I was given, The Red Pony, a very depressing book, especially for animal lovers.

I now know why I love reading classics. They contain beautifully constructed prose, are filled with information of a world long gone and gives an insight into books and novels that were really a cherished form of art and quite exclusive.

FAST FORWARD 17+ years

I still LOVE reading and as I have stated previously, I have four gorgeous children. I wanted to instill this love of reading, especially classics, but sadly they love every other genre but not classics. They have read one or two but I have found unless I read to them (even my soon to be 15 year old still loves me to read to him) they find it unenjoyable. My children find the prose to wordy, filled with too much description, old colloquialisms and are just “BORING!”.  Modern novels grab the readers attention from the first paragraph, have less adjectives and descriptive paragraphs and are less “wordy”, so I am told by Miss R.

Is this a result of today’s society? The hustle, bustle and fast paced world that we live in? We don’t have time to waste even when reading?

Is it because the other types of media,TV, Computers, DVDs etc, are so engaging and give instantaneous gratification? Classics take a few chapters for one to be engrossed into the story.

Have we, as a society, moved on from these types of books? Has language changed that much?

Are kids today lazier or not as intelligent (if so what has caused this?) and find these types of books too much effort?

My mother thinks it is today’s parents’ fault, and that I am failing as a parent, as we don’t force our children to read the classics. I personally don’t want to force my children to read a book of my choosing.  I do, suggest books I think they may enjoy. I know that they are not dumb so one may skip, flick through a book pretending to read. Even worse they could begin to detest reading if forced to read something that is of no interest to them. So I will never force them to read a classic hoping in time they may choose to read one.

I know my children love reading as much as I do but they enjoy different genres to my favourites.  Which, has led to many interesting and enjoyable dinner table conversations. Which I think is what reading is all about, connecting with others by sharing ideas and thoughts.

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under General thoughts, Proficient Readers, Reluctant Reader

Literature review commisioned by the Australia Council for the Arts.

The ACA commissioned a review to summarise what is known about Australian children’s leisure reading and to identify a) their habits b) if there are opportunities or barriers to their reading c) who are the key influences d) how does technology affect them e) what is the future trends or issues emerging in research.
The good news Australian kids are similar to the US and UK where there is an increase in children being introduced to other cultural activities and arts but there is a decline in children reading for leisure.
Having books in the family home, young children need to discover the world of libraries from a very early age and they definitely need to have “parents who enjoy reading and encourage their children to read.”
A factor that is disheartening but a reality is that socio-demographics and nationality of parents also influence children and their reading habits.
There was no research on how e-books have influenced if at all the reading of Australian children.
I know with my children, they all have kindles, they love getting a book immediately if they can from Amazon but many new release children’s books are unavailable and so after some nagging I drive them to the local bookstore to procure this must have novel. If they had a choice I believe they would prefer to have the physical book over an e-book.
This study and others highlight that we need to overcome any hurdles to ensure all children have the opportunity to love reading.
Permanent URL to literature review http://apo.org.au/node/38507

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized