“Raising Passionate Readers: 5 Easy Steps to Success in School and Life” by Nancy Newman is an excellent analysis of techniques that should be utilized to encourage children to read. I like that there is a combination of scientific analyses and practical experience used to back up the author’s advice. I have no problem believing that fostering a positive attitude about reading will start a child off on the right foot and I really like that there were suggestions for ways to get them encouraged. The author has her own experiences with the spectrum of learning capabilities from different children and makes it a point of explaining that those with learning disabilities must be strongly encouraged and can overcome obstacles if given positive reinforcement.
It has always bothered me to see the children around me viewing reading as a chore and I hope that more people realize that a combination of creativity, persistence, patience, and positive interaction when children are very young will set the stage for future learning. It is important to remember that there is a broad spectrum of material ranging from picture books to comics to illustrated texts that can serve as a springboard for brain development and a thirst for reading. The most important concepts I took away from this book is the importance of minimizing stress, because it blocks the most complex of learning processes—reading, which involves both sides of the brain, PLUS the importance of free time—without electronics usage and encouraging physical exertion.
This book is easy to read and nicely divided into chapters which present concepts in clear language, summarizes the information, then gives action suggestions to help one apply the information given. I think this is a fantastic tool for anyone who is faced with the challenge of helping shape a young mind and it reminds me of the suggestion I read long ago…to talk frequently to babies, in regular sentences, because the more words they are exposed to, the better their brain development.
When neuroscientists cracked the mystery of reading in the 1980s, they pinpointed the simple steps parents can take to help all children become skilled, avid readers. Yet this information still hasn’t spread from the research community to the general public, leaving a huge gap between what scientists have learned and parents know about raising readers. Though many parents are concerned about their children’s reading abilities, they have no idea how to help their children become readers. And they commonly believe that it is impossible to raise readers because of competition from technology. Bridging the gap between scientists and busy parents by combining the latest scientific research with what she has learned as a teacher and mother, author Nancy Newman offers a simple, practical, and joyful approach that boosts children's literacy skills and instills an enduring love of reading. Using accessible, parent-friendly language, realistic examples of family life, and humor, this indispensable guide translates neuroscience into common sense, and provides easy, effective, everyday strategies that can be adapted to a wide range of families, personalities, and schedules. Everyone who wants to encourage children to become lifelong fans of the written word—parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, and learning specialists—will be inspired, informed, and empowered.