Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mem Fox

Mem Fox sounds like the name of a character in a book, but she's for real. An Australian, she is a noted author of many books for children and adults and a former professor of literacy education.

More information at Mem Fox.

Currently I am reading Reading Magic . The subtitle of Mrs. Fox's book is Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever.

Now you know why I am reading it.

Of course we as parents want wonderful things for our children, the best education, the best opportunities, the best this and that. What we often don't focus on is that we want our children to be happy. And reading aloud fosters a well-rounded character and a person who can enter relationships in a healthy manner. This isn't the emphasis of Reading Magic, but it is included. Here is a quote from chapter one:

"Reading aloud to my daughter was a fabulous experience.

We bonded through all sorts of marvelous books.

We came to know and love each other better through a variety of stories we shared."

I'd read aloud with my child if that was the only reason that existed. In this scattered society, it is hard to connect with people. Many of the social ills in our world are rooted in a form of attachment disorder.

  • First, I want to have a strong relationship with my children.

  • Second, I want my children to experience a strong relationship so they have that as a base for relationships in the future.

  • Third, I want them to learn how to develop a strong relationship through practice.

Reading aloud is important for your mental health!

I know that sounds extreme, but one dad I know said it this way, "He (4-yr-old) can be a trial all day. He can drive me crazy. He can push all my buttons. But at night, when he snuggles under my arm and we read a half-dozen books, it is like the equilibrium settles on both of us. The day's trials are erased and only the love remains."

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Reading Magic and Jim Trelease! I think we are kindred spirits! I, too, am a literacy "freak" who taught first grade for the magic of watching kids learn to read and doing all I could to help them on that journey. :o) I taught for 4 years, and then had my first child. We now have 2 boys, age 4 & 19 months, and I'm delighted to be at home with them. But I know that someday, I'll be back in the classroom again!

    Reading aloud is SO important. It drives me crazy when I see teachers who just have a few scruffy books in their classrooms and don't have (multiple!) time carved out for read-alouds. In this age of goverenment mandating so much of what we do in schools, maybe there should be a No Child Not Read Aloud To or some such thing. ;o)