As with the weather, a lot of people complain about how kids don’t read anymore, but no one seems to know what to do about it. In Raising Kids Who Read, cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham makes the case that nurturing an enthusiastic reader isn’t nearly as hard as controlling the elements.
So what’s a parent to do? (Although Willingham includes teachers in his subtitle, his focus is primarily on parents.) Here’s what not to do: Don’t “break out flash cards” for a 1-year-old, Willingham warns, or “start handwriting drills” at age 2. And don’t require older children to read for a certain number of minutes or offer rewards for reading. Those things give the message that reading is work. Instead, Willingham says, your motto should be “have fun.”
Continue reading my review of Daniel Willingham’s new book at the Washington Independent Review of Books.