If you read only one book about education and learning to read, PLEASE read this: The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease (available at your local book store and also at the big online place you may have heard of). I have to thank a former colleague of mine, whose mother is a librarian, for recommending this gem. There is a wealth of fabulous information in this book:
- Basic how-to information (I must admit that my smart-a** side thinks, ‘hmmmm…because no one needs a manual on how to set their child in front of a TV for hours but we’ve apparently forgotten how to read to our children?’ OK, so that is ridiculous and even scary but even I found the ‘how-to’ part helpful: what are good books to read? different ideas for how to make it a routine and make it fun, etc.)
- Common sense concepts about education in general
- Approaches to teaching our children to love to read
- Statistics on reading/education/income facts (I found these tidbits to be variably & sometimes simultaneously amazing, shocking, sad, obvious, scary. All of them encouraged me to become a huge fan and advocate of this book.)
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read this book. If you know anyone who is reproducing or has recently reproduced, buy this book for them! Or tell me who it is and I will buy this book for them. Or host a reading club and read this book out loud.
His webpage has great excerpts from the book but you really should READ THE BOOK! Also check out his home page for his most current reading recommendations, organized by age group: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/index.html
If you have been reading his blog from the beginning, you know that we think reading to children is so important — not just intellectually but for emotional development and bonding and so much more — that we started reading to Mia en utero (though we called her ‘The Little Bean’ then). See this post https://onemooreintheoven.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/oh-baby-the-places-youll-go/).
Thanks to Jim Trelease for elucidating the many reasons a love of reading is important to an individual, a family, a nation, and the world.
p.s. Note that I emphatically approve of any book on his list as an appropriate gift for Mia! 🙂 And, if you have a child that we buy gifts for, you can guess where I get the idea for most of those gifts.