How To Help Your Children Love Books

Nicholas Rossis takes two of my blog posts on language, literacy, and storytelling – and adds his own thoughtful and well written words. The result is a powerful message on reading. Thank you!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Kids' library | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksAs the wee one is now at an age when she’s starting to read, I have been wondering how I can help her enjoy reading. Recently, I came across a two-part post by Jennie, a teacher of thirty years, titled Language, Literacy, and Storytelling. She shares there some remarkable statistics which gave me pause:

  • Every child wants to read when they begin school.  Enthusiasm is 100%.
  • By fourth grade, only 54% read something for pleasure every day.
  • By eighth grade, only 30% read for pleasure.
  • By twelfth grade, that number has dropped to 19%.

Teach your children to read | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Image: jenniefitzkee.com

As Jennie points out, the key word here is pleasure. We drown our children with so much reading that they learn to associate it with drudgery. In their minds, reading becomes synonymous to homework. Is it any wonder they start avoiding as soon as they’re allowed to?

On that note, I…

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About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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7 Responses to How To Help Your Children Love Books

  1. Thank you so much for your passion for teaching, Jennie, and for writing the post which inspired mine! I wish I’d had teachers like you growing up 🙂

  2. beetleypete says:

    Jennie, I left a comment on Nicholas’s blog. Two of my favourite people, collaborating.
    That’s ‘blogging heaven’! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. Tara says:

    Wow – I didn’t realize it dropped so quickly so fast! As an avid reader in a family of book devourers and a former bookstore and library volunteer I obviously can’t get enough of them. One thing we did at the bookstore was make the reading experience interactive – so we would read a book as a group and then act out the tea parties/tree climbing, etc. It was so much fun!

    • Jennie says:

      What you did at the bookstore was wonderful, Tara. Yes, the statistics are startling. Children crave hearing books read to them, even long after they have learned to read themselves. My library reading group are third graders and avid readers. Harry Potter is their level of reading. At the end of our session, they want me to read aloud, and I am doing just that! We have a great chapter book going. In this way, children see the pleasure of reading, and that creates lifelong readers. Thank you so much, Tara!

  4. Norah says:

    Nicholas knows good advice when he sees it.

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