“Reading Intelligently

Next on the list would be reading. Learning how to read well is much more than just learning literacy or learning how to interpret clusters of letters. Reading is the skill of consuming information and accessing stories intelligently. By “intelligently,” I mean analytically. On one level, you are taking in data, but on another, you are analyzing.

You can’t read at this higher level unless you have done a great deal of reading as a child. As I said, we encouraged our children to read first by depriving them of live television and videogames and then by finding books they enjoyed reading. It didn’t matter what sort of books, because our goal was to develop the skill of reading at an early age. Later on, we encouraged them to read good books. And eventually, they did.

Depriving your children of TV and video games may seem draconian by today’s standards. But it had a marvellously positive effect on our children. They all became active and voracious readers. And instead of wasting time shooting down aliens, they were living in their imaginations and learning.

Many parents use these modern contrivances to pacify their children. And pacify them they do. Watching TV or playing video games is a passive activity. But reading intelligently is active.

Nature has designed us in such a way that we learn more when we are in active mode. Allowing your children to passively consume most of their “information” is a terrible way to treat them. It’s a form of passive child abuse.”

This segment stems from an interesting article of a parent who ponders of the changing values of raising a child. Parents do seem to move from the urge to foster excellency in their child to not only a more realistic, but also a  more valuable expectancy pattern. They are happy if their child develops kindness, social skills, good manners, happiness, fulfillment and of course fundamental literacy and numeracy skills. Parents know that with basic knowledge and these fundamental character traits most children and young adults will find their way in society, their profession and they will continue to grow and develop. It is not our job as mothers and fathers to make them dependent on us – nor to make our own happiness dependent on their life’s choices.