If you want to raise a reader, this is important.
All of 8, Ananya, is holding a thick book in her hand. Her English teacher had asked children to bring any book of her choice to school, spend some time reading and write a letter to her about the book that they had read. The idea was to spread this activity over days so that the children got a grasp of the book they were reading and hence would have some matter to say. Ananya 'read' Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stwart and illustrated by Carson Ellis, for days on end. The teacher noticed and thought that the book in question was high for an eight year old. Not wanting to discourage the child she did not raise a question. Being new to the class she was yet to ascertain each child's capacity and hence thought to herself that perhaps this child was an advanced reader. However, when it was time to write the letter the child was lost and asked if she could write about a different book instead. The teacher was puzzled by the child's request but she agreed. Ananya chose a picture book that she had read several times before.
What does that tell you about her reading proficiency?
Dear reader, take a pause at this point. Contemplate if this has happened to you. Has your child been seen with a book for days on end making you believe that he or she is reading. But has nothing to offer when there is a discussion?
Is the child pretending to read or struggling to read?
The teacher wanting to know more, approached the parent and requested the parent to have a conversation with the child about the book. The parent thankfully was understanding and open to the idea. The teacher later received a response that brought a lot of clarity to the situation.
The parent reported that the child had difficulty understanding the story and hence was unclear about how she should write a letter based on the book. However, she was keen on writing a letter to the teacher and hence chose a book that she was familiar with. Smart decision. The parent also revealed that she had recently forayed into chapter books and hence that was the reason why she found it difficult to summarise the story. The teacher understood that the child had difficulty reading the book and was being given chapter books that were far too advanced. The teacher provided a list of book recommendations suitable for a child who was just starting out on chapter books.
Seek help if you are unsure of what books to get for your child
There are multiple sources that help you find the variety of children's literature available today. Here are some highly recommended sources:
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club for the 8-12 age group.
NEW! Writing programs for the 8-12 age group- Young Writers' Club Jr.
The Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
NEW! Musings from the Young Writers' Club is an online magazine showcasing the work we do at the Young Writers' Club.
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