Thursday, February 11, 2010
This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks "How can you encourage a non-reading child to read?" There is a lot more to the question that is very interesting if you are facing this problem in your own home. For my short answer, that is enough.
I don't have kids, so do not have to actually contemplate such a horrible dilemma. A child who doesn't want to read? The idea that that child will turn into a non-reading adult? I shudder.
I think that I always liked to read. I can't remember any pre-reading years, so I cannot even imagine not having a book with me.
But just to make sure, my parents instituted a simple program of child bribery. Starting in first grade, they paid me a dime for every book I read. I'd give them a list at the end of the day, tell them about my favorite bits, and they would pay up.
After a while, tired up paying close to a dollar every day, they upped the stakes. They paid me a quarter for every "classic" I read. This lead me to read many books that are childhood classics -- Heidi, Treasure Island, etc. -- but that were way above my comprehension level. I powered through them anyway, which was probably good training for college because I was never intimidated by any book I faced. Although I like to think my comprehension has improved.