I have been reading this book called Readicide : How schools are killing reading and what you can do about it by Kelly Gallagher and I have to tell you it has been so spot on. A lot of the things that I talk about here in terms of children not having a lot of books at school or home, and how kids are being bombarded with preparing for tests and not viewing reading as pleasurable is just a few of the things that Mr. Gallagher has been addressing in his book. There is one thing though that I wanted to talk about briefly that he mentions in chapter three which is something called the reading flow. He said, he got that term from Csikszentmihalyi who is the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience who says, this is the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it. Gallagher says, ‘the flow’ is where we want all of our students to be. He continues to explain how teachers get so involved in trying to dissect and analyze the book that their students are supposed to read that they will keep stopping the ‘reading flow’ by continuously asking questions like, what was the author’s purpose, why did the character say that or what did the passage mean in hopes to get the student to really understand the book but, unfortunately what wounds up happening is that the students tend to get disinterested in the book and they just simply give up on that book or in reading altogether.
I wanted to share this with you all so that we can remind ourselves to help our children enjoy reading by allowing them to be immersed in a book so that they can view reading as a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. So let them pick out a book that they enjoy and of course you approve of then, let them get lost in the book without questioning them every five seconds on what was the author’s purpose. Just let the reading flow.
It’s summertime, school is out and no more homework yaaay! I know most if not all children across this country have been shouting those words ever since the beginning of June. Even though are children are out of school most parents still have to go to work which means if our kids are not in a summer camp or visiting family members for the summer they will be at home surrounded by televisions, computers, tablets and phones. So how are we going to keep our children from wanting to be on the computer and in front of a t.v. all day and immersed in a book. Well thanks to the internet which can be a blessing and a curse at the same time there are plenty of ideas and suggestions you can choose to implement in your house to get your children to want to read, as a matter of fact I have provided a list right here on my website which gives 10 ways you can get your child to want to read but, the key is consistency. So whatever you choose to promote reading and literacy in your family just make sure you do that all of the time. This is when you will see your child’s attitude change about reading. Remember though, we can stress emphatically to our kids that we don’t want them on their phone or tablet all day and they better read a book but, if they don’t see us reading it will go in one ear and out the other. So again, my advice that I keep stressing consistently is, when you tell your child to “Get off the computer and pick up a book” make sure they see you doing the same thing as I am reminding you I am reminding myself. Let’s keep working together to help combat illiteracy and the “I hate reading” attitude in our youth.
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents-Emile Buchwald
First I wanted to say that I am so proud of my 8 year old daughter for putting this quote on our computer as a screensaver. I didn’t tell her to do it she made that decision on her own. So I said to myself, wow she is really appreciating how I’m stressing at home that “reading has to be more important than watching t.v.”-Dr. Francis Cress Welsing. I understand though this is easier said than done especially now since as parents we are competing with computers, phones, tablets, video games and of course television. Oddly enough though, even through all of this technological advancements we have seen and will continue to see, is that countless studies have shown that children who value reading have parents who value reading. So my simple reminder to all of us as parents and caregivers make it point to read in front of your children. Let’s make sure that when we tell our children it is time to turn off the t.v and read a book that we are leading by example.
Power of the Pen: Mr. Louie McClain’s path to becoming a children’s author and developing his publishing company Melanin Origins, LLC
Louie T. McClain II is a resident of Arlington, Texas and holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Pensacola Christian College. It was in Pensacola where Louie first discovered his passion in life-coaching troubled youth. While volunteering with Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Mr. McClain took on an initiative to make tutoring a court-ordered sanction and found success with Juvenile Court Judges and Probation Officers alike. Louie went on to establish Humane Resources, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to assist the formerly incarcerated with job placement, a couple years later. Shortly after that, Project: Liberia Smile was formed which gave college aged students an opportunity to attend universities in Liberia, West Africa.
As a result, nine scholarships were granted over the course of two years. Other than his Passion Projects, Louie has over seven years of full time employment in Juvenile Justice, and is currently employed by American Airlines. Furthermore, Mr. McClain is a proud father of two beautiful children named Serenity and Noah. Louie is intrigued by the resilience and tenacity of African American leaders who stand for truth, justice, and overcoming any obstacles placed in their way. Thus, he decided to create Melanin Origins, LLC to share messages of lesser-known African American pioneers to the children of the world and empower them to aspire for excellence and chase their dreams regardless of any complications they may face.
Booker T. Washington taught us how to be a leader amongst hard times. He showed that we can achieve our goals if we just take one step forward at a time. Ida B. Wells showed how to allow our thoughts to flow to our pen and she demonstrated the powerful effects of it. Her life is permeated with the notion of truth telling, journalism, perseverance, and standing tall for the down and out. Dr. Francis has a huge, loving heart. She tells of being studious and obedient to the heart’s call of service and loving others. These three individuals who I chose to write about have lifelong lessons for children. Louie T. McClain II is humbled and honored to be able to introduce our children to their leaders in this manner through Melanin Origins LLC.
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