Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Go Ahead, Read TO Your Big Kids!

* Due to technical difficulties on my part, this blog did not get posted at its scheduled time! Thanks for sticking with me, friends!*

I’m a member of an on-line Facebook magazine called Writer’s Circle.  Like all magazines, some articles appear more interesting to the reader than others.

A few days ago an article crossed my FB page that caught my attention. It was about the importance of reading out loud to your older children. The last chapter book I read to my “older” kids flashed through my mind, so I clicked on the link to find out more.

Scholastic, a well-known publisher of children’s books, hired a separate entity to find out reading habits of families with older children. The study concluded that 90 percent of parents read to their young children. (This is a good percentage! Way to go Mom and Dad!) However, the report also stated that by the age of 9, twenty percent of these same parents stopped reading to their children.

(Courtesy of Google images)
By the time they were just nine years old.

I think I understand how this happens. I taught this very age group. Nine-year-olds are typically in third grade. Third grade is a transition year. This is the year they’re not the babies of the school any longer—but they’re not the big kids yet, either.  Pre-school through second grade are the “baby years” of education. Lots of language/reading learning is done through songs, rhymes and games. A huge change in the delivery of reading instruction starts in third grade. By this time, most students are expected to be “good” readers. Songs and dance and rhymes and games are pared waaaay down in third grade.

Parents start to see their child grow socially, physically, and emotionally during this time. The children can read on their own, and don’t seem to need as much “cuddle time” as they once did.  This combination is the perfect set up for the demise of reading out loud to your kiddos. (It’s not your fault!)

The article contends that the reasons you read to your child(ren) when they were young, still apply to your older child(ren.) Not the least of which is having quality time in this fast, noisy world of ours!
The Indian in the Cupboard
by Lynne Reid Banks
(Courtesy of Google images)

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks was the last chapter book I read to my son and daughter.  They were in junior high, and I read it over Christmas Break that year. They didn’t sit by me. No. And I didn’t care. Each day that I read to them, Nate and Erin would flop down somewhere- gangly arms and legs akimbo- and listen to the story about the boy who had the responsibility of the life of another being, and the hard lessons that arose.

Summer is starting to fade. School is on the horizon. Pick out a good book and read it TO your big kids. They’ll love it. (Really- they just don’t show it like the littles do.)

Until next time,
Be Good to Yourself.


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