Children of today have fantastic technology at their fingertips. My great-granddaughter could find her favorite app on her mommy’s phone by the time she was eighteen months old… (I have trouble.) This generation is growing up in a whole new visual/special effects world, with tremendous advantages… but the skills of the past are still needed. I don’t think the ability to read will ever fail to be an asset… If I’m wrong, I think it’s generations away.
There is joy in reading for pleasure, and I hope there always will be.
More than that, the ability to read cracks the door to doing well in school. And, reading well throws it wide open.
According to statistics presented to us in the news a large percentage of high school students can’t read. This is not a new problem. Rudolf Flesch’s WHY CAN’T JOHNNY READ was first published in 1955. My word! It was a problem when I was in high school! There were teachers there to teach students to read all along the way — at least eight grades before they reached high school. Why didn’t they learn to read?
I think they didn’t want to…
They didn’t know the joy of reading.
Why could my eighteen-month-old great granddaughter find that app? She wanted to watch the video she loved. Wanting to experience that joy motivated her and her little fingers learned to slide the iPhone screens until she found her app.
You can introduce the child in your life to the joy of the written word long before he/she learns to read. Here’s my suggestion:
Read to your child. Start with illustrated books; enjoy the colorful pictures along with the story. Then introduce the child to text-only stories. Snuggle the child in your lap for some one-on-one time. With his/her eyes closed and listening, let the story unfold. As the child learns to listen, creating pictures in his/her mind should come natural. This is what we do when we read. It gives us pleasure and instilling this joy may lead to a desire to learn to read.
“Want to” motivation is very strong.