Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kids don't read anymore?

Frank Bruni's May 12th Opinion page article in the NY Times
has me thinking about WHY kids don't read anymore! While Bruni eloquently talks about Common Sense Media's report, I wonder WHY fewer than 20 percent of 17-year-olds now read for pleasure “almost every day!”  According to Common Sense Media, back in 1984, 31 percent read for pleasure almost every day.
YIKES is my first thought!  Yet, this study does not talk about the WHY?  A zillion WHY questions are playing in my head. 
  • What happens to kids when they read every day for pleasure when they are younger?
  • Did these kids read every day for pleasure when they were younger?
  • If so, when did the reading decline?  When did it end? 
  • What happens when kids are read to every day by parents?
  • What happens when kids are read to every day by teachers?
  • Did these parents and caregivers read to theses children?
  • If so, what kinds of books did they read?
  • Did they discuss the books?
  • Were these kids "forced" to read just right books rather than texts they wanted to read?
  • Were they "forced" to read certain genre books?
  • Were their choices (comics, newspapers, sports) embraced?
  • Were these kids forced to do reader responses?
    Were these kids forced to keep reading logs?
  • Where there books in their homes growing up?
  • Did their parents model reading?
  • Was reading valued in the same way sports and grades might be?
  • Was reading the subject of family discussions?
  • Did their parents see reading as a way of opening doors?
  • Do the young adults see reading as valuable or enjoyable?
  • What roles do teachers, parents, caregivers serve as reading models?
  • Do kids read for pleasure in school?
  • Do kids have time to read for pleasure?
  • Do they consider school mandated reading as pleasurable?
  • Do kids consider reading newspapers and Twitter reading for pleasure?
  • Are today's kids too cool to read?
HOW SAD was my next thought and yet I really wasn't all that surprised.  I thought about how busy our youth are with grades, sports, clubs and all the notches they need to put on their belts to get into the "right" schools.  I thought about ALL the homework That takes LOTS Of time.  I thought about afterschool, karate, dance, baseball. ballet, Brownies, Cub Scouts, swimming classes, playdates, the need to make the travel soccer team and the desire for our kids to be fit.  I also thought about Minecraft, Ipads and other video games....but only at the end. 

HOW IMPERITIVE it is that we research and find out the answers....because I really suspect there are more than one answers to the question.
Why don't kids read anymore?

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