Date: 2009-11-17 01:13 pm (UTC)
And I was never hobbled by "Age appropriate" reading material.

That, I think, is a big key to helping kids read. Is to stop with the idea of age appropriate material all together. Because what it usually does is shoe horn kids on either end of the spectrum into books they don't want and won't enjoy, thus making them resent reading.

I grew up in the age of "Accelerated Reader" programs, which were programs to sort of force kids to read library books, and you had to stay within your age range. So there were kids who had problems reading or just naturally needed a lower end kind of book at their stage of mental development who were forced to read books that they didn't really understand or want. So they HATED reading.

And kids like me (and you) who weren't allowed to read above a certain grade level. Which meant I was stuck with really boring books that didn't stimulate me and felt like an insult when I really wanted to get my hands on something juicy. If not for the town library and my parents' and grandparents' willingness to let me read whatever I wanted, I would have gone nuts.

I think it's one thing to scale books for younger readers by difficulty or subject matter and say to parents and teachers, "Evaluate your individual child and see where their levels are" - but to presume that every kid who's in grade 7 or is 12/13 years old will be at that level and want THAT kind of reading is absurd and insulting to them.

Just as saying that everyone who's 20-26 will be at THAT level and want that kind of reading is absurd and insulting.
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