Mind Speaks – The Art of Reading – BOOKing them young

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Mind Speaks – The Art of Reading – BOOKing them young

Dear Friends,

No News issue of this week covers the special topic – The Art of Reading – Booking them Young. The importance of educating children to develop a reading habit at a young age is very important. Especially these days, when everything comes in the form of CDs and DVDs and books are becoming an Old Story. The real joy of reading through a good book is unbelievable. It has to be developed to experience it. For this, we need to spend a few minutes every day with them, in order to make them realise the importance of this life long journey. A good reading habit is as good as a great friend, especially when you are in dire straits or needs. The seeds you saw now to create this habit in your child, will be harvested by them in the years to come. They will say thanks to you from their heart at that time.

Have a great week ahead,

Ramesh Menon
02112008

The Art of Reading – BOOKing them young

Our Knowledge and experience are the only things that, if passed on will remain with the generations. All the other thing, money, property, etc, will all have a natural, timely or untimely death. Knowledge passed on, by any means, will become immortal. It will be all the more, if it is through a creative medium. I myself, was surprised very recently to learn this when I happened to notice a painting which I had created in 1999 and posted in a webpage created that time, now being used in a German site, where they explain in detail the thoughts and principles underlying that drawing. I was amazed and swept off. I am writing this to all those who hold their reservations, either due to shortage of time or other reasons for not utilising a wonderful opportunity thrown in front. This is not the old age situation that happened to Ekalavya, who learned the secrets of Archery techniques from the legendary guru Dronacharya, by hiding behind the bushes. When came to know that Ekalavya had learned more than what he had taught to his favourite student Arjuna, Dronacharya, asked for his Thumb finger as the Guru Dakshina (fees) from Ekalavya. Don’t worry, our science and technology is far and well advanced now. Give your thumb finger out to your Gurus or mentors if they are asking for it, and share your knowledge, as we have many a new technology already ready to replace it better than the original one. Have No Fear, and Have No Holds.

This is also a tribute to all those who work hard and do continuous educations through various Distant Learning Programmes like the ones from IGNOU, BITS, SYMBIOSIS etc. You all deserve a special applause, for your hard work and dedication you put in to continue your quest for gaining knowledge, without forgetting your commitments towards profession and family. Thanks to all those Professors and support staff who work hard to present and create a classroom atmosphere and provide quality materials at par with other universities worldwide for these knowledge seekers, who in normal case could not have done it without your efforts.

TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book. ~Author Unknown

Many times it happens that we attend birthday parties, and other functions associated with children – small, young and teens. More than 90% of the time, we end up buying expensive gifts for them, either a Playstation game, or an expensive watch, or a Camera or electronic toys. Although, children who get these gift items become very happy, on majority of the occasions most of these expensive items stops functioning or their interest in them diminishes and fade away as days passes. At times a child may even get the same gift in two or more numbers.

How many of us, in turn, ever thought of buying them a story book or a quiz book, or an encyclopedia, or offer a subscription to a kids journal?

May be, about 5%!. And the beauty is that those books given by this minority group remain with those children much longer time than the other gifts. The dominance of electronic media over the print is so much that these days children very rarely turn towards reading during their away study time.
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” – Ray Douglas Bradbury.
If the trend among our children move towards watching unlimited TV, playing on computers and playstation or electronic game consoles, very soon we will be taking our culture away from them. It is a danger, and imminent danger looming in front of all of us. The Art of Reading, is precious. It should begin at an early stage and from home and that too from parents. But, how of many of us, have the time, to read even a newspaper these days. Then forget about passing on the reading habits to our children.

The progress and the fast paced requirements of our life have killed several of our old habits and replaced them with newer ones, which are fancy and short-natured. Think of the earlier days, when we were in school or college, when the newspaper boy drops the paper at home and we wait for it to read our favorite news anxiously, whether it be a local event or whether it be a sports event happened at the capital. Those days have gone. Now, instant coverage through Televesion and internet, reporting news through the print media to make them interesting have become a Herculean task for the editorial staff. Unless, it is something entirely innovative or attractive, people will not even turn the pages beyond the cover page. There is no time left with people to do that. Who wants to read a full paper, when you get short feeds by sms on your mobile phone or PDA? If this is the case, who wants to read a full book to enhance the knowledge? If this is the situation with us, where on earth we have the time to read a story for our children and create a reading habit in him or her?

“Tell me what you read and I’ll tell you who you are” is true enough, but I’d know you better if you told me what you reread. ~François Mauriac

Learning lessons from the above quote and from various others, Reading or Developing the Art of Reading from a very early age is a very important virtue to be planted amongst children of this generation in order to carry on our traditional values. Otherwise, very soon, our generation will forget about the ancient history, and life for them will revolve around with SMACK DOWN, or NEED FOR SPEED or SUPERMAN or DHOOM 1,2,3 etc……

“No, I’m not doing the homework; I’m blogging why I’m not….”

Here are some tips to promote The Art of Reading through our Team 1 columns.

Family & Adult Reading Tips

You are your child’s first teacher. The most important thing you can do to help your child succeed in school is to read aloud to him or her. Reading to your child makes him or her feel respected and part of your world. It builds self-esteem. Reading aloud to your child will help him or her to understand words, master language, and enable him or her to come to school feeling confident.

HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD READ?

• Make reading time special. Turn off the TV. Read before bedtime.
• Have your child choose the book you will be reading together. Sit close together. Hold the book so your child can see it and turn the pages.
• Patience. Reading to children takes time. Often children will read favorite books over and over again. This builds confidence.
• Take time to look at the pictures and discuss the story. Discuss the characters and setting.
• Add expression to the text. Change your voice to become different characters.
• Have fun with books and language.
• Visit the library. Encourage your child to bring home their library books each week. Obtain a library card in your child’s name.
• Help your child with reading homework. Let them know that reading is the key to learning.
• Phonics vs. Sight Vocabulary-both are very important and successful. A combination of teaching both strategies will help your child.
• Ask your child’s teacher where to get reading materials or any questions to enhance your child’s reading.

Remember, When we read a story, we inhabit it. The covers of the book are like a roof and four walls. What is to happen next will take place within the four walls of the story. And this is possible because the story’s voice makes everything its own. – * John Berger.

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