With 31% of Americans functionally illiterate, reading is an important life-skill for children to master. You can develop the interest of your kids in ready by some interesting and adventurous books like “The Adventures of Potato Kid” written by Edward James Hanson.
Walk into a well-run grade school classroom and watch 20 children silently engrossed in the book of their choice as a daily routine. Children are concentrating and focusing, absorbing new ideas, being entertained, learning life lessons. More than that, children are practicing a life-skill which they will use for the rest of their years in school, and the rest of their lives.
On the other hand, millions of adults in the United States are functionally illiterate. A 2011 report by the National Institute for Literacy states that nearly half, 47% of Detroit’s adults, as one example, are functionally illiterate, which amounts to more than 200,000 adults. In the United States as a whole, approximately 31% of adults are functionally illiterate, according to the University of the District of Columbia.
Developing the ability to read, along with understanding what is being read, then, is something that every child needs to master.
Electronic distractions abound. When a child comes home from school, does he or she run home to a book, to his or her homework, or to the television and video games? TV and video games can crowd out time for reading. As an adult, if we obtain all of our information about current events from the television news and pseudo-news programming on the TV, then our view of the world is being colored by a commercial colossus whose main goal is ratings rather than transmitting accurate and informative information. Reading to keep abreast of current events provides us with a more well-rounded view of the world. If we read selectively we can not only keep informed on current events, but can also develop discernment, the ability to read between the lines, gaining more insight and understanding, and learn to assemble a more-complete picture together from the isolated parts.
Reading requires more mental energy and effort than watching television. Therefore, it helps a child to develop cognitive abilities, it strengthens the mind. The rapid pace of cartoons and such programs as Sesame Street, as well as the rapid pace of television commercials in children’s programming, tends to fragment the mind of a child, which can make it more difficult for him or her to concentrate on things other than television.
Parents can bond with their young children by choosing books that have value. Read to your child before bedtime at night. Don’t be among the 60% -plus Americans who place a television in their child or teen’s bedroom. Keep electronic devices including the television, video games, X-Box, Wii, and Internet out of your child’s bedroom. Instead, provide books of value to your children. Choose books that impart positive values rather than the dark, evil, or occult. Screen your children’s books, and learn to discern what values a book is imparting. But by all means, teach your child to find delight in the life-skill of reading.
Yes, teaching a child to read is a teacher’s job, but it is also a parent’s responsibility.