READING MAGIC – “Teach Your Kid to Read in 15 Minutes”

April 19, 2012

Reading Magic By Mem Fox

Harcourt Brace, 2001,

$23, 160 pages.

You don’t want to read a book review, you want to learn how to teach your kid to read in 15 minutes, right? I’ll tell you, but first let me ask, Why? I can’t remember when my two learned, but who cares. My daughter went through college, NYU no less, in three years, but doesn’t read much. My son reads all the time and he barely made it through high school. Don’t get me wrong; as a writer I want people to read (or at least buy) my work and I do think books allow richer participation than TV or movies, but I hazard to guess that it is over-achieving parents who need something to brag about that are behind this library run.

Whatever the case, Mem Fox claims the secret owes more to reading to your kids than phonetics. I agree. Storytelling, story sharing, story discussion…can be a wonderful way to connect with our children that TV, video games and even meal-times are not. Three stories a day—one new, one familiar and one favorite—do the trick. She suggests starting at birth. Birth! And she says, “the faster we read, the easier it is to read because we can hold in our memory all we’ve read so far, and then use that information to guess what is to come.”

All of a sudden I am reminded of another book, one that changed my life as a young adult: Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book. Building content by scanning the front and back covers, the table of contents and skimming any “call outs” lets the book be a tool for your intellectual growth instead of pap filling an empty glass. Put that on your two-year-old’s reading list.

Buy this book directly from Amazon for  $9.95 (paperback) . Click here: Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever


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