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Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever Paperback – July 1, 2008
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"In short, vivacious chapters, Fox describes the sheer, rollicking joy of sharing books with babies and pre-schoolers."―The Toronto Star
PRAISE FOR MEM FOX
"Fox writes with a light touch, going straight to the heart of preschool concerns with affection and wit."―The New York Times Book Review
"If you're not a dad, pass this along to one. Encourage fathers or other male role models to read to children, and watch the magic happen!"
About the Author
- Publisher : Mariner Books; 1st edition (July 1, 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0156035103
- ISBN-13 : 978-0156035101
- Item Weight : 5.6 ounces
- Best Sellers Rank: #163,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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She claims lack of reading aloud is the cause of most reading problems she is fairly anti-phonics prior to spelling. Apparently if you read the books to your child until they have it memorized they will eventually learn to "read" it based on pictures and "whole language" you can also play some alphabet games she describes. If they recite the story wrong point to the text and give them the word....or if you absolutely have no other options phonics might be okay if it doesn't destroy their fluency.
Having a family full of relatives that struggle with ADHD and dyslexia I thought her continuously saying just read aloud more was ableist and would be awful if you were a parent with a truly struggling reader (having known a struggling reader whose parents were both English Majors and another whose background was early education and Preschool teacher...inadequate reading aloud was definitely not an issue that contributed to either child's dyslexia and other reading difficulties).
this book taught me to purchase children's books that included great artwork/illustrations, something colorful to catch the eye and delight of the children, who are to little to read but love looking at something colorful.
in addition, this book points out to be animated when reading. if the character in the book is whispering, then you whisper. if they are shouting, then raise your voice (but not so loud as to scare the child). buy one for yourself and every person you know who is pregnant, a new mother or father, and especially grandparents, who have so much influence in developing a child's interest in reading.
But it's not the book alone that changes the lives of our children. It is the act of sharing and sharing completely, totally, and doing it with gusto and fun, with laughter and tears, horror and delight--well, she said that before.
But listen to this: "If every adult caring for a child read aloud a minimum of three stories a day to the children in their lives, we could probably wipe out illiteracy within one generation" (12). Now the scary part: "[T]he crucial connections that determine how clever, creative, and imaginative a child will be are already laid down by the time that child turns one" (14). Reading aloud to a child and engaging in conversation about the story does so many things: teaches words, values, ideas, concentration, problem solutions, self-expression, thought.
Fox tells us that children need to hear a thousand stories read aloud before they learn to read for themselves. That's three stories a day for one year, not counting the three or more prior to school. Ideally those three stories should be one favorite book, one familiar book, and one new book. She avidly advocates reading the same favorite book over and over to teach the rhythm and structure of language. Read it until the child reads it.
The most important reason we should read regulary to our children is to meet the most important reason of all: children need to know above all that they are loved by their parents. Reading as little as 15 minutes a day will create this bond of talking and sharing that creates this language bond.
My favorite story Fox tells is this one concerning her own child Chloe (Note: the Foxes are Australian). During a picnic before her mum had unpacked the picnic basket, Chloe asked about the "afters" (dessert). Mum replied they had to eat first. "Well, one must sustain oneself," she said in a six-year-old huff.
I laughed and laughed at that. Reading together creates a private family bond, the Foxes from Winnie the Pooh, source of the sustaining line. Chloe's father, on occasion, had eaten all the chocolate and responded with "Well, one must sustain oneself" line. Chloe picked it up, knowing its meaning and its source.
Fox includes so much important information, including how to read aloud. Body position, using our eyes and facial expressions, making that eye contact, using vocal variety, and general animation. Reading aloud is an art form!
She gives three secrets concerning the magic of reading: print, language, and general knowledge and how to make the three come together. What does she think of phonics? Her chapter title says it all: "Phokissing on Fonix." Her special chapter on Boys and Reading explains the utter necessity of a father reading to his children.
Bottom line: This is a fantastic manual in learning how to read aloud, what to read aloud, why to read aloud, but above all--to read aloud, interact, share, discuss, enjoy!