Reading for pleasure is what can make your child get better grades.
Ask most kids if they read books ( and by books I mean novels, stories & adventures ) and they either give you a blank and slightly uninterested look or they mention that catch phrase of today's youth: " Why, I can just look it up online! "....Oh Dear!
The non-readers of today, are short of a few million words in their vocabulary. ( Great article by Hilary Clinton ) They don't get the repetition of a language and its finesse, that they would get from reading books. Non-readers have to work so hard to understand and know the rules of their own language or of a foreign language, which they have to learn at school. If they had read more, they would instinctively know the right structure and placement of words etc.
That is reading and grammar. But, what about general knowledge? The school can only send them out into the world with a finite and lopsided view of ' anything '. The curriculum can't cover everything. Reading gives you a different viewpoint, idea or input on life issues. Of course the most important of it all is the fact that reading for pleasure, gives your kids an imagination. An imagination that is necessary to enjoy life to its fullest.
Parents all want their offspring to do well and slightly better then they themselves did. Homework is done, even if it presents a zone of conflict at the kitchen table on an ongoing basis. Hats off to parents, because it is far from easy to make sure your kid is doing and has done all his homework.
Dear parents, as you are already good at circumventing that daily conflict ( homework ) zone, why don't you include one more issue. A non-negotiable issue. Yes, reading. Reading fiction.
Books are great and can be lent out at your local library. But, I think in today's age of computers and internet, you might have to skip to plan B. Plan B will make your life that much easier and you might be spared the role of parental enforcer. There is one tool in your parental arsenal, that will take the wind out of your child's sails!
Get them a Kindle. Yes, you will have to pay a bit of money now, but think of the selling points of a Kindle:
- It is a computer gadget and will make your child feel ' with it '.
- They can whip it out anywhere and even look cool while doing it. It does look like a tablet after all!
- They can download any book they want. The choice is so vast, that they will find a genre that will get them hooked on reading.
- If your child is learning a second language you can download books in that language with ease. Here in our village a lot of the kids are struggling with English. Reading an English fiction book, will make the arduous task of learning a second language so much easier and also much more fun.
- There is a good chance, that once your child is reading, that automatically their grades will get better. Better grades, means better chances of further education. Which is the point of educating your kids after all!
Here is a last thought to leave you with:
- Have you looked at the structure and spelling of your child's text messages lately? That alone is enough to give you the vapours / make you faint / heck, make you wonder what it is they are saying...