Let me begin by saying that I love research as much as the next basic nerd. However, there are times when even those of us who fit this description get a laugh at things people choose to investigate and the results that should have been self-evident without a study. Recently, a popular pass-along on social media has recounted a find that the size of a home library has a great effect on educational achievement. That foregone conclusion had me choking on my coffee in amusement. I googled the source and found it was a recycling of a real study from 2010.
Before anybody needs to spend money on yet another obvious piece of research, let me propose that you do not need to investigate whether older family members who are caught reading will entice children to want to learn what is in books. I’ll give you an example.
Having been chosen for the honor of keeping a couple of young grandsons while their parents made a weekend trip, I arrived early to be ready. The boys had finished baths and were watching a bedtime cartoon before their storytime and lights out. The parents were stuffing things in suitcases and making last minute preparations for the boys. I found a chair and pulled out my Kindle with my latest book to be out of everybody’s way and thought we were all pleased.
Benjamin soon left the cartoon and interrupted to see what I was reading. (Something Rotten from Monday’s blog) He was soon rapt and wrapped up in interesting bits about roadkill. The cartoon could wait for another showing, another time.
While I don’t have a lengthy study to back it up, but do have considerable experience in letting myself get caught reading by children, grandchildren, and students, I’m going out on a limb to say that one of the best ways to turn children into readers is to let them catch you engrossed in a book.