To whom or what would you accredit to fostering your lifelong love of reading/writing?
My parents are both avid readers, so a lot of the credit must go to them. They read to me from the day I was born and taught me to read well before the average age. I’m an only child and we lived out in the country, so when I wasn’t at school I was often both a bit bored and a bit lonely. Reading about my favourite characters having grand adventures solved both problems.
How has your perspective on reading changed (if at all) now that you are a parent reading to your child?
Ooh. Great question. Mostly my perspective is the same as it’s always been: reading should be done for fun or to learn something; if you can do both at the same time, perfect! However, since we discovered that Boo is autistic, my husband (also a book lover) and I have been using children’s books to pique Boo’s interest in learning to communicate both verbally and socially. So now we’re not only looking for books that will entertain him, but books that will help him want to communicate and that may foster a better understanding of a world filled with people who don’t think like he does. Which I suppose is merely an extension of my general perspective…
Can you describe what makes an ideal reading spot for you (and Boo)?
Most of the time I try to read to Boo face-to-face so he can see my mouth and facial expressions, should he choose to pay attention to them. Any old spot on the floor will do for that. But given a preference, I love reading snuggled up on a comfy couch with him on my lap with a favourite picture book spread out in front of us. If you could transport said couch to a beautiful ocean beach and place it in the shade of a canopy (preferably with a margarita nearby), that would truly be my ideal spot.
How would you finish the sentence: Reading is…
a passageway to worlds and perspectives different than your own.
What advice would you give to teachers to help encourage children to read?
Reading needs to be fun, or kids won’t want to do it. Children need to be allowed and able to read about things that interest them, while also being encouraged to expand their horizons and try something new. Equally important is that the teacher loves reading and is honestly engaged and in love with the books he or she is assigning. No matter how good a book is, if the teacher doesn’t love it and doesn’t thoroughly understand it, it’s unlikely be a great experience for their class.
Great questions Jen! And lovely answers Sam. I particularly liked Sam's answer to the last question. I remember reading an article about a year ago about teachers on a course to refresh their knowledge of children's books, so they weren't just using books they knew from their own childhood. I found it very depressing to read the statistics on how few kids' books primary school teachers actually knew and felt comfortable with.ReplyDelete
Here's the link to the article:
It really is sad that teachers might not know about recent picture books or novels. I strongly believe teachers should be reading what their students are reading. They should be able to chat with kids about what happened in a book and to recommend books to kids. There are some great older books but there are some awesome new books. All books deserve to be shared with kids/students. Similarly, I think it's important for parents to be reading what their kids are reading or at least know what a book is about to gauge if it's appropriate and/or to talk to their kids about books.ReplyDelete
So glad you both decided to take part in BBAW. I enjoyed both interviews. The last question not only applies to teachers, but parents. If you engage your child while reading and show them how much you enjoy the experience, they are much more likely respond with excitement. Both Zoe and Sam are perfect models.ReplyDelete
Interesting interview, with great answers. I believe children with autism can enjoy reading, especially if the stories are visual and/ or relates to the interest(s) that the child has.ReplyDelete
I definitely could go for the picturesque beach with margarita in hand for an ideal reading spot :-).