Is it possible to elicit a love of reading in children?

George Goodwin Kilburne - A Peaceful Read 1869

Anyone who sends their kid to piano lessons or any other kind of lesson has probably wondered this: At what point will I allow my kid to give up this pursuit if they’re not enjoying it, or actively resisting?

Time Ideas has an interesting article about the science of interest (which I didn’t know was a thing).

As researcher Suzanne Hidi notes, “Teachers often think that students either have, or do not have, interest, and might not recognize that they could make a significant contribution to the development of students’ academic interest.”

In fact, research suggests that well-developed personal interests always begin with an external “trigger”—seeing a play, reading a book, hearing someone talk—and that well-designed environments can make such a triggering more likely.

The main things I picked up from this article:

  1. Be friendly, chatty, engaging
  2. Model interest by being interested yourself
  3. We tend to prioritise intrinsic motivation over extrinsic motivators, but in reality, successful people are driven by both


Literacy Test Scores Do Not Equal A Love Of Reading

Many believe that if boys liked reading more, their literacy test scores would surely increase.  Table 1-4 does not support that belief.

see more in the article Girls, Boys and Reading

The entire article is well worth a read if you’ve ever wondered about why there is an increasing gender gap between boys and girls when assessed for reading comprehension. Spoiler alert: There are no clear-cut answers — only speculation.

The interesting thing about this particular article: pointing out that we don’t naturally assume students from countries with good maths scores enjoy maths, but we do apply that same logic to reading, in which it is assumed that enjoyment of reading equals being good at it.

While students who enjoy reading probably are good at it, that doesn’t account for another cohort: students who are good at it but don’t read that often, or students who read often for school but don’t particularly enjoy it.

Header painting: George Goodwin Kilburne – A Peaceful Read 1869

Home » Is it possible to elicit a love of reading in children?

On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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