Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Encourgaing Reading Makes a Difference!

Encouraging your children to read really makes a difference.

I was listening to an interview with American neuro-surgeon Dr. Ben Carson a few weeks ago. He attributed much of his success in life to his mother who made him and his brother read. His brother is an aeronautical engineer, so his mother produced a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon!

His mother was a solo mum living in very deprived circumstances. She couldn’t read herself but she was determined that her sons would have greater opportunities than she did. She turned off the TV and required her boys to read two books a week, which they got out of the library.

At first Ben and his brother were not keen, but his mother persevered. After a while Ben discovered that between the covers of a book he could go anyplace, be anybody, and do anything. Ben began to learn how to use his imagination and found it more enjoyable than watching television. This attraction to reading soon led to a strong desire to learn more. Carson read books on all types of subjects and found connections between them. He saw himself as the central character of what he was reading, even if it was a technical book or an encyclopaedia. He read about people in laboratories, pouring chemicals into a beaker or flask, or discovering galaxies, or peering into a microscope. He saw that he could become the scientist or physician he had dreamed about.

Within a year, Ben Carson was amazing his teachers and classmates with his improvement. He began to realize that he wasn't stupid. Within a year he was at the top of his class, and the hunger for knowledge had taken hold of him.

Encouraging reading in your home is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child. Maybe it is time to review how much TV, PlayStation and computer time your child has, and encourage them to read.

It may take a while to embed new routines, but don’t give up, even the brain surgeon’s mum had to persevere!

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