By Zenobia Jackson
July 28, 2017
Allowing children, and specifically boys to select what they read can be a powerful change agent in the motivation to read.
In the majority of schools, student choice is an education phrase that is thrown around to say that we are giving students choice in their learning. But in reality students have little choice about what they read in school.
Renowned psychologist William Glasser, who developed Choice Theory, has stated that two of the most important components of learning are freedom and fun. In other words people learn best when they have the freedom of choice and the learning process is immensely enjoyable. Children need to be given plenty of opportunities to choose books that are simply put, fun to read. We know that what’s fun to one may be a complete bore to another. That’s why parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, etc. must strive to provide a broad range of literature to children.
As a foodie, I love to cook, try new recipes, and of course new restaurants! We can compare reading to an extensive menu. There are many choices, many new foods to try. If we don’t try it we may never know if we like it or not. By providing an extensive menu of books for children, we open their eyes to possibilities and pique their interests in a variety of ways. The power of providing choice cannot be underestimated in motivating children to read.
Here are some ways you can be sure children have choices about what to read.
- Get to know your local children’s lit librarian. They can recommend new titles that children will want to explore. Be sure to visit regularly as new titles are frequently being added.
- Expose children to each and every genre – from poetry and prose to mysteries and myths!
- When purchasing books give children a choice. Take a trip to your local bookstore or ask your child’s teacher for a Scholastic catalog. You can even try used book stores. Libraries often have annual used book sales.
- Give a gift card. Children love to shop. Give a gift card from Barnes & Nobles or your local bookstore.
- Become familiar with online reading resources for children. And then share them with your child.
Exposing children to the various genres available to them is sure to broaden their minds and to get them reading more and more. Why not start today?