summarizing an article called What Reading Does to Your Mind. Not surprisingly, the author makes the claim that reading:
increases vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching;
substantially boosts general knowledge while decreasing the likelihood that misinformation will be absorbed; and
helps keep our memory and reasoning abilities intact as we age.
This led me to think about the effects of reading to your child. I've seen so self-declared "experts" claim parental involvement does not have that great of an effect on school achievement. I say bullsnort. No surprise that many of the people who make that claim, and the others who pass it on as gospel, are not actually teachers.
Of course! I makes perfect sense. I'd like to attach that article to my course expectation next fall. "Dear parents, what can you do to help your students? Make them sit down and read each and every day."
In my mind I can flip through the students I've had through the years and see the different between those who read and those who don't. And even closer, I think of my own father who is not an educated man, but he is the wisest, smartest person I know. He reads all the time.
As a teacher of high school English, it is general knowledge among my peers--so well known and understood that it's virtually not worth mentioning--that the majority of our student's academic problems come from the simple fact that they are, and always have been, non-readers.
It's ridiculously simple. People who read write better and are sharper in every respect than people who do not. Twain said it best: "The man who can read and chooses not to has no advantage over the man who cannot.
Have you ever noticed how your own writing and vocabulary change in relation to what you are reading at the time?
I had the sudden revelation when I was writing something rather lengthy and had been working on it over the course of a month.
I had read several different books during this time period - Great Expectations, Age of Innocence, The Good Earth. By re-reading my first draft, I could tell exactly which book I had been reading as I wrote each section. I had to do some significant re-writing of the work I had done during the reading of The Good Earth.
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