On Modern Education

January 21st, 2008 · 4 Comments
by Kassia Krozser

We get ourselves all hot and bothered about the teaching of reading, about synthetic phonics and the like, and we forget that none of it is much use unless children want to read in the first place. The motivation must come first, horse before cart. We all know that unless a child is motivated to learn, then there will be apathy or resistance in the learning process. They are much more likely to want to deal with the difficulties of learning to read if they know it is these words that give them access to all these wonderful stories. If we really want our children to become readers for life, we would do well to remember that horses are much more fun than carts anyway.

File Under: Quote of the Week

4 responses so far ↓

  • Christa M. Miller // Jan 21, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for this. I’ve been trying to get my son interested in reading/writing mechanics, and although I’ve told him that reading will help him enjoy books himself, I missed that my example is what matters most. Time to back off the writing work and make more of an effort to read, both with and in front of my kids.

  • Kassia Krozser // Jan 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    My mom and I were talking the other night about this very topic…this quote was perfectly timed! One thing we discussed was the importance of reading stories to kids — she’s an elementary school librarian so does that all day. I remember sitting around the dinner table while she read the stories of King Arthur and his knights to me and my siblings. And I remember fourth grade where we sat rapt in our desks while our teacher read us “Island of the Blue Dolphins”. I do love to sit and read by myself, but there’s something about being read to that just can’t be beat.

  • Melissa Breau // Jan 22, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I completely agree. I learned to read with my dad laying on my bunk bed next to me – he would read the left hand page and I’d read the right hand page. But the real reason I learned to love reading was because I learned to read using JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings – and to this day I love fantasy novels.

    You have to teach kids that reading is also about connecting. Reading to – and with – kids is the easiest way to do this, but it’s also about helping them find books/stories/whatever that they can form their own connections with.

  • Cindy // Jan 22, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    I don’t really remember a time when reading wasn’t part of my childhood – my parents put up an alphabet border next to the ceiling and would sing the song as a lullaby at night. According to family lore, I grew impatient at my dad’s pace of reading aloud and said “daddy, where’s the Pinocchio word?” By three he and I were reading The Hobbit together before bedtime, by six we’d gotten through the Lord of the Rings nearly twice and I was reading it on my own. Yes, I was the kid who had to be kicked out of the classroom during lunch and after school because I was spending too much time reading. Most of my reading has moved online in the form of e-novels and webcomics and news, but I still average a book or three a week on top of all the work-related reading I do. My first foray into reading for myself was definitely the fascinating story, though. Dick and Jane were just too boring.

    I don’t think the problem is that we aren’t reading at all anymore. Most of my friends are either bookworms like me or simply so used to clips and snippets of information that books are just too intimidating for someone who hasn’t grown up in a book-reading family.