I am an advocate (if there is something like this) of teaching practical reading skills. I am for making the children I teach lifelong learners, informed and eager to learn new things that will make their lives better.

Practical reading skills as part of a reading program (for me at least) include some of the following:

  1. reading news articles, online or with a real newspaper
  2. reading a menu, recipes, brochures, announcements, maps, manuals that include instruction manuals and even appliance parts online
  3. reading ad pages
  4.  reading two sides of an argument or controversial issue
  5. reading to follow instructions

Yes, it is good to be able to read literary pieces and enrich the mind but it is equally useful and beneficial to be able to have practical reading skills that will make lives better.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has issued memo No. 244 s.2011 DECLARING NOVEMBER AS NATIONAL READING MONTH OF EVERY YEAR AND NOVEMBER 25, 2011 AS THE NATIONWIDE ARAW NG PAGBASA.

Reading is an important aspect of the whole learning process and not just a part of language development.

Reading is the basic foundation for learning. In this day and age when students are more adept at copy-pasting that they pass off as research, the fundamental reading (and writing) skills needed to create original research and documents seem to be rare traits in students.

We want our children to learn to read. We want our children to love to read. We want our children to have fun reading.

So how would we encourage them to do so?

They’d probably argue that reading does not just limit to holding a book and reading this. Sure, reading translates to many mediums like those troves of “comic book” treasures in the internet, e-books, magazines, newspaper articles and even instruction manuals of the latest gadget bought.

Technology has changed the way people read. I for one used to do an all-nighter, an I-can’t-put-a-good-book-down-until-I-finished-reading habit while tossing and turning on my body pillow. All these reading habits have changed because of technology. Yes, I’ve been into e-books several years before the tablets were invented because I read a lot of these in my old Palm Pilot and big Symbian phone. I’ve read almost all HP books (except 1,2 and Deathly Hallows) in e-book format.

In this blog, I’ve written posts about reading:

On Friday, my youngest daughter will go to school “dressed” as a storybook character. We’ve been doing this storybook character for a long time when the teen-aged oldest child was still in preschool. Since we already have a costume worn by Kuya from last school year’s drama club presentation, we will just add details to it. No buying since we will adhere to the school’s “recycle and reuse” costumes rule.

Other school activities lined up till next week are: fashion show (for the storybook characters), speech choir, declamation pieces, English Night presentation, Drama Club presentation and exhibit of works related to reading and literature.

Reading is fun. Reading is great.

Now, off to prepare to face a student who asks: “Why can’t I read like my classmates?”

It’s April 26 today and we are halfway through our summer vacation. That fast? Yes, but not because it is summer means the children are off the books. Nope. Summer means upping the reading skills by more fun choices.

I’m sure children will get bored if they are not engaged in summer fun activities so reading, and not just clicking on those gadgets, will give them fun and excitement too. Now is the time we parents and teachers and parents lead the way and make them love reading.

I’m sure when they are adults they’d rather read fun stuff than read minute details of work-related literature like contracts, North Carolina health insurance, and manuals.

Here is a list of books for summer reading. Let’s hope the reading continues on till after summer vacation. I know *rolls eyes*, it’s 2009 but it’s still a list đŸ˜€

Here is another reading list.

I’m not one who get books with popular animation characters because the children can watch these characters on TV so why bother have them in books? I’d rather children read books that will take them to different places, stir their imagination and make them want to read more. Or maybe be a children’s books author some day.

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