Jul 30, 2018

Let's Discuss: Required Reading

It's almost August and since I was scrapping for ideas for a discussion post, I came across this idea on the idea list! It's almost back-to-school time! Tax-free weekend for Missouri is coming up and despite my laptop being slightly more cooperative I can't help but think I should just buy a new one...otherwise I'm waiting a whole other year. But the back-to-school-ness combined with possible ideas sparked a discussion in me...

Required "Fun" Reading in School

The original topic asked about your feelings towards required reading in school and that doesn't garner much from me, because, yeah, you got to read certain titles in school and all that.

But I thought what about the other side to that? The "required" reading of a book that's not for class. In my schools they kind of made you read a book that wasn't assigned for 15 minutes each class period, probably English, I can't remember what class it happened in, possibly even a study period class. But the point of it was to help encourage kids to read something fun. Something that wasn't required of them.

And naturally, THIS was my favorite part of class! I was always ecstatic to have the 15-20 minutes of reading time for my book because at this point my reading life had really come into fruition! 

Though I feel like I remember a time when the class talked the substitute teacher out of making us read. And I'm like really? I didn't say anything because I wasn't going to be the kid everyone hated for mentioning it, because more than one kid agreed with the speaker. I think it wasn't until high school when they finally got smarter and said, oh no, it's not 15 minutes, it's 30! Or something like that!

Anyway, I think it should be more of a requirement that kids read one fun book every school quarter, semester or whatever. It's important to try to establish an enjoyment of reading for kids. There's always a book for someone out there, you just have to figure out what they like. 

Ironically I was talking with a coworker about this last week too. Trying to think of books his 9-year-old daughter would like. You just have to think of what they already like and try to find a book in that area. I think I even recommended Melissa de la Cruz's Isle of the Lost trilogy since it was based on The Descendants and is basically the Disney Villians' kids going to high school with the heroes and what not.

What about you guys? Do you think it should be a requirement of schools to have kids read a "fun" book? Or do their schools already have this rule? I can't be sure of the ones by me anymore. I know my sister gets her class to do this throughout the year.


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  2. I think required fun reading should be a must in schools as I think the best way to get kids to read at all is to have them read something they are interested in!!

    As a side note, I noticed you mentioned Melissa De La Cruz in your post. I was able to meet her earlier this year at the Bay Area Book Festival in Berkeley, California in April. She was an amazing speaker and I enjoyed having her sign a book for me.

  3. It sounds good for those who enjoy reading, but you have to remember, not all kids do enjoy it. My school has a literacy program that involves activities that improve reading, then end with reading books of choice from a box. Often, the class goes into the library to choose books for the box. They are also allowed to bring books from home if they like. It’s a lot more than just doing fifteen minutes of reading. If you are goung to do that 15-minute-Reading thing, however, you have to agree that kids can read what they want. I’ve seen too many teachers complain when a kid wants to read non fiction. They think it isn’t a real book if it’s not a novel. If they want to read a magazine or a newspaper or a book about cars, that has to be up to them.

  4. I think it's a great idea. The kids, or most of them anyway, would probably love it. It's like ME time. And it gives the teachers a break too. Maybe the kids would respond to her better.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  5. I always loved free reading time in school too, but I guess I can see that if kids don't already like to read, they won't appreciate it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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