Comment of the day:
“Two words: HARRY POTTER - Unknown22222
Award-winning author James Patterson ("Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life," "Maximum Ride," "Daniel X" and the "Witch & Wizard" young adult series) is encouraging parents to instill a love of reading in their children. He says it’s up to parents, not schools, to find books kids like to get them motivated. Patterson is the 2010 Children's Choice Book Awards author of the year, and in 2008, he created http://www.ReadKiddoRead.com, a site dedicated to helping parents find books that will get their kids reading.
Most CNN.com readers agreed and shared their tips on how to get kids reading.
Melissa0307 said, “Here's a thought: shut off the TV and make your kids read instead. It's that simple.”
frogprof said, “Maybe if less emphasis were put on sports than on academics, reading would be more important to kids than it is. But every kid in America seems to think he's going to be the next Shaq or Kobe or Manning or whatever, and academic scholarships come second to people's minds AFTER athletic ones. I'm all for 'mens sana in corpore sano,' but NOT at the expense of actual LEARNING. Give the kids recess and PE, let them work off some steam, but don’t make sports the end-all and be-all. Make READING and LEARNING the aim of schools.”
Kathleen59 responded, “I agree with you as my son was 5'2" at the age of nine and the school kept insisting I ‘make’ him play football. In the same breath, they told me that at nine years of age that Stephen King was too advanced for him to read and I should not allow him to read above his age and/or grade level. How ridiculous is that? The teachers were telling me I should not allow him to expand his vocabulary and his knowledge based on his age.”
mary8711 said, “Also if we weren't so ready to buy that new video game, kids would read more. When the kids were growing up, they were read to until they learned to read, and then they read to us. And they observed their parents reading on a daily basis. As a result, they both read avidly. Reading is my primary source of relaxation, because it takes me away from daily worries and plops me down somewhere else. And I get to choose where.”
SandyVC said, “I have been a teacher and raised a reading child. It is ‘bang on’ that it is parents who motivate their children to read. If you never crack a book or brag that you have not read anything since graduating, you are dreaming if you think a teacher can make them read.”
NocommentCNN said, “Love this. My wife and I have a simple way to show reading with our six children. Be a reader yourself. Go to the library and get books you will read and in no time the child will want to do the same.”
JRLSolutions said, “No one better to give this advice! Good tips and all true. I was never influenced by teachers anyway. It was my mother who always had a book in hand who inspired me to read. I remember waking up in the middle of the night often to find her reading a book, and I remember thinking that there must be something special in there to keep my dedicated, hard-working mom up that late. I'm nearing 40 now and have read thousands of books. Reading increases vocabulary, knowledge, and in many cases it can turn into a career. Not all of us are Pattersons, but I make a fine living writing which I attribute to a long-time love of reading.”
hoofleau said, “Turn off the TV. Throw away the video games. Make them play outside in the fresh air. Stimulate their minds with interaction at the dinner table. As simple as that. Plus, make more time for yourself to accomplish these goals. Back to basics, everyone.”
Vsaxena responded, “I grew up watching a lot of TV, but I also acquired a great desire to read. That said, I don't like the ‘back to basics’ concept. Perhaps for some families, but as a technology-loving person, and as a big fan of the entertainment industry, I would like to raise my kids (assuming I'm lucky enough to ever have any) to appreciate all things: sports, computer games, books, Internet chatting with people from faraway lands, bike riding, playing fetch with the dog, etc. I think it's all about moderation.”
msptx said, “What a great thing you are doing for kids. When I was growing up, reading was magical and we could pick up a book and escape to special places; as well as pretend to be whatever. Of course I'm almost 70 and times were different then. My family members were and still are avid readers. I have always believed that to get a child wanting to read, find out what they are interested in and the rest will follow. It doesn't matter what it is, superheroes, flying, sports, whatever. As long as they are reading. Ah the places I've been and the people I've met all through books!”
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Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.