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Bring Reading back into fashion!

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 Photo Source: intellitots.in

Smartphones, iPhones, iPads, android- touch screens, tablets, videos and yes the ever dependent TV-the markets are full of them. Don’t forget, so also are books-all kinds of genre. While experts believe that a smartphone in the hands of a two year old is detrimental to brain development and too much screen time in general is bad for all children, nobody ever said reading books was bad for anyone-especially kids. On the other hand they advocate it. So it stands to reason doesn’t it that we try and inculcate the reading habit in our children sooner than later?

By Team Intellitots

http://intellitots.in/bring-reading-back-fashion/

But tablets and smartphones are fun and stimulate the mind instantly. They are handy and easy for any child to understand them. So how do you compete with this fascination for new technology, the internet and the latest gizmos which have so completely taken over our lives and strongly eroded the importance and value of books?

Yes it does need more than a little effort to wean your children off them if already hooked. However it isn’t too difficult to channelize their interest into books either, since you as a parent have the power to simply make these devices unavailable and supplant them by making books  integral to your children’s lives.

Reading to children or having them read leads to many benefits. It improves their brain functions, reduces stress, leads to better concentration and makes them effective communicators,’ says eminent Clinical Psychologist Dr. Saliha Afridi of Dubai.

So how does developing a reading habit work for a child?

  • Infants even babies respond to lullabies and songs. They soon begin to identify the sounds
  • Toddlers enjoy cloth books and song books of various textures and real pictures to see and hold. They quickly start to recognize the pictures
  • Three to four year olds love rhyming books and songs with short stories. It develops their sense of rhythm and creativity
  • Three to six and above- alphabet books along with picture stories in attractive fonts will expand their vocabulary and sense of story telling
  • Reading improves academic brilliance- Children who are into the book reading habit do better in school and studies than those who aren’t.
  • It enhances speech, language and vocabulary –Comprehension is faster, are able to communicate better and speak more fluently as there is constant accumulation of words and phrases
  • It encourages creativity and imagination- Adventure /fantasy/ mysteries /real stories automatically let both soar
  • It enforces discipline of mind. Improves concentration and attention span as it is a quiet activity
  • Promotes self- confidence and independence. With more knowledge comes more self-reliance
  • Different genres –fiction/nonfiction/picture books/ texts/ varied authors/languages give them new thoughts/ideas, plenty of choices that help identify their interests later.
  • It sharpens their brains and improves their minds

Thus it is evident the earlier the child is introduced to the world of books the better. You will not only be helping your children hone their mental and motor skills you could also be instilling in them a love of words and learning that could last them a lifetime.

So how do you go about making reading a fun activity for your child ?

1) Every-time your child needs to be calmed, distracted or its attention diverted, reach out for a book and not a mobile device. Read to them, sing to them. As kids grow the characters in these   books  will – unlike phones and their ilk- remain the old and trusted friends they had fun with.

2) Surround yourself with books. It helps children identify with the reading habit faster. Books-attractive/colorful- lying around will pique their curiosity and make them want to know what’s in them.

3) Be a role model. However addicted you are to your hi tech devices make a conscious effort not to use them when your children are around. Remind yourself of the fun you had with books – however old and tattered  they were -as a child and let them see you reading .Soon you will have them doing the same.

4) Read to/with them constantly- before dinner, after dinner, whenever – till they are able to enjoyably relate to the stories. It will help you rediscover the joy of reading as well. Don’t you remember the fun you had bonding with your parents/grandparents when they read to you? So help your children make the same kind of nostalgic memories you have of your childhood

5)Interactive question and answer sessions- ‘Do you see that banana? What did the three bears say? Why did snow white eat the apple?’ It will soon have them turning the pages themselves for answers.

6) Encourage them to identify objects and words in their natural surroundings -an ‘A’ on a sign board or a ‘tree’ in a park, with the letters/ words in their books. Matching words to objects and sound to sight will give them a thrill and motivate reading

7) Make it fun and laughter-filled. Dramatize, exaggerate, play-act the stories. Word games e.g. what rhymes with cat/mat/rat etc. -if you haven’t the time- with grandparents will make it an absolute fun activity. It will help develop the reading habit  even while bonding with family

8) Introduce them to libraries. Encourage them to choose their own books. Reward them with books if they do well in whatever. Give books as gifts to whomever. Your children will soon get the idea

Thus with a little bit of effort, by creating the right atmosphere and the necessary environment you as a parent can easily reinvent the charm of books and bring ‘reading’  back into fashion once again. 

References

Inculcate the reading habit in our children
posted Aug 29, 2017 by Jagesh

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+1 vote

We often encourage our students to read more fiction, but non-fiction can be just as important, argues one teacher.Everyone has their favourite children’s book. And it is almost always a work of fiction. While children do read a lot of non-fiction, it is not venerated in the same way as the novels and picturebooks beloved to us all.Unfortunately, this can make non-fiction seem somehow less important and some can even question its place in the primary classroom.

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/six-reasons-why-every-primary-school-needs-embrace-non-fiction

We need to fight this denigration of the genre: non-fiction books are essential tools in the primary classroom. Here is why:

  1. Non-fiction underpins all other learning
    In schools we rely on non-fiction texts to provide us with the content of, say, a geography lesson. It may be the teacher who reads and then communicates the knowledge, or it may be the child themselves who has to read a text to gain knowledge.
     
  2. Non-fiction aids understanding of fiction
    All those wonderful children's books students love? Pair them with non-fiction texts and they become a whole lot richer. A lack of background knowledge is a key reason for poor comprehension skills.
     
  3. Reading non-fiction is linked to academic success
    Research shows that development of the aforementioned background knowledge (it isn't just knowledge necessary to understanding novels, but to understanding life itself) enables pupils to achieve academically.
     
  4. There are some brilliant non-fiction books out there
    This is perhaps a less robust reason; no-one would suggest you jump off a cliff just because cliffs are available for jumping off. But take a walk through the children's non-fiction section of your local bookshop, preferably with a child, and you'll both be drooling over what's on offer.
     
  5. Some children like non-fiction more
    We all know those children who are like walking, talking encyclopedias – they devour non-fiction and store all the little facts away, often proudly reciting them to anyone who will listen. They're often the ones who read very few novels but make a beeline for the Guinness Book of Records.

 

+2 votes

Eminent educationist, motivation speaker, author, mentor, guide Dr Dheeraj Mehrotra says:  

50 REASONS TO READ BOOKS

1. Books help you feel more confident.

2. Books help us travel around the world in the cheapest way.
3. Books develop your personality.
4. Books provide food for thought.
5. Books make you laugh and think.
6. Books draw you towards perfection.
7. Books stimulate creativity.
8. Books bring out writing talent.
9. Books help in communicating.
10. Books clear your vision.
11. Books satisfy your curiosity.
12. Books help you make more choices.
13. Books help you build literary talent.
14. Books do not require any special device to teach.
15. Books increase your attention span.
16. Books are fruitful pastime.
17. Books can be used anytime, anywhere.
18. Books provide entertainment, when others fail.
19. Books make you powerful.
20. Books help you know the 'Whys' and 'Hows' of everything.
21. Books help you to create and spread fun.
22. Books help you travel across time intelligently.
23. Books keep you updated with facts and figures.
24. Books spread love, affection and knowledge.
25. Books make the best of friends.
26. Books take you to intellectual environment.
27. Books help you feel the world around you.
28. Books entertain your mind.
29. Books broaden your horizon.
30. Books bring Nature to your doorstep.
31. Books bring about a 'personality change'.
32. Books increase comprehension.
33. Books do not require company.
34. Books are stress-busters.
35. Books develop a sense of belonging to people around you.
36. Books provide mental and physical relaxation.
37. Books act as a communication tool.
38. Books are intellectually satisfying activity.
39. Books provide spiritual experience.
40. Books provide emotional strength.
41. Books build your self-esteem.
42. Books help and encourage your imagination to soar.
43. Books make you smarter and wiser.
44. Books help you grow.
45. Books take you to a 'world of dreams'.
46. Books can change your life and vision.
47. Books help in achieving 'life goals'.
48. Books develop wonderful experience.
49. Books transform lives.
50. Books inspire, books motivate, books build nations

+1 vote

Photo credit   V. Srinivas Murthy, The Hindu.com

From a foundation in memory of a friend to a library on the move, young professionals in the city are taking books to those who need them the most

Sarumthy K.

Children at Twinkle Library, which was inaugurated this month, at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road                  

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/they-are-on-a-mission-to-spread-wide-the-joy-of-reading/article19078809.ece

Children living in the neighbourhood of a primary school and crèche run by city-based trust Sewac-B in Guddadahalli, Hebbal, were pleasantly surprised a year ago when stacks of books were delivered to their premises.

It heralded the birth of a library— a gift by four friends.

Under the banner Nirupa Reading Foundation, city-based Rajni Singh and her friends — Vikram Sridhar, Sindhu Naik, and Kapil Vardhan — started setting up libraries in children’s homes, schools, and old age homes across the city. The initiative began last year, and to date, they have set up three libraries—two in Bengaluru and one in Gurugram (Haryana).

Their plan is to spread the habit of reading in cities across India.

Apart from the crèche, the second library in Bengaluru — christened Twinkle Library — was inaugurated this month at Cheshire Home on Old Airport Road.

Nirupa Reading Foundation, which was registered as a trust in March this year, was started in memory of their friend Nirupa, who died after battling cancer at the age of 36. Nirupa, Ms. Singh, and Ms. Naik met when they were part of Runner Girls India, an all-women runners group in Bengaluru, in 2007

“I introduced Nirupa to Vikram and Kapil and we used to travel together extensively. We were almost like a family,” Ms. Singh says. “Nirupa was very fond of reading. We wanted to keep her memory alive in a constructive way, and that is how the foundation came about. We want to give the gift of reading to underprivileged children and adults through the trust,” Ms. Singh, a 41-year-old software engineer, adds.

The Hebbal library is operated by the crèche staff five days a week for two hours in the evening. The children were asked to come up with a name for the library and it was christened “Happy library”. The library has 500 books, of which 120 are in Kannada and the remaining in English.

“Nirupa Reading Foundation contacted us and set up a well-structured library. Now, at least 20 children visit the library every day from the neighbourhood. We also have a librarian to assist the children,” Shalini Joshi, secretary, Sewac-B, says.

At Cheshire Home, which provides care, treatment, and education support to about 45 physically challenged and visually impaired children, 300 children’s books have already been stacked in a cupboard. Most of the books are pre-owned and donated. “The new books are funded by our friends and relatives. We have not gone for corporate funding as of now,” Ms. Singh adds.

The librarians at the two facilities have been trained and all books are colour coded to match with the children’s reading levels. “We have followed the Hippocampus Reading Foundation’s Grow by Reading Model so that children read books appropriate for their age and reading capacity,” she concludes.

 

 

+1 vote

Engaging children while reading to them can better activate their brains, say scientists who suggest that simply speaking words aloud from a book may not be enough to improve cognitive development in toddlers. The study involved functional MRI scans of 22 4-year-old girls to explore the link between engagement and verbal interactivity during a mother-child reading observation and neural activation and connectivity during a story listening task.

http://www.deccanheraldepaper.com/

Children exhibiting greater interest in the narrative showed increased activation in right-sided cerebellar areas of the brain, thought to support cognitive skill acquisition and refinement via connection to language, association and executive function areas.

The study, led by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Centre in the US, reinforces the value of "dialogic reading," where the child is encouraged to actively participate. "The takeaway for parents in this study is that they should engage more when reading with their child, ask questions, have them turn the page, and interact with each other," said John Hutton, a pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and lead author of the study.

"In turn, this could fuel brain activation - or turbocharge the development of literacy skills, particularly comprehension, in preschool aged children," explained Hutton.

+1 vote

Photo source bing.com               

Fidget Spinners, the newest Chinese made toys to flood Bengaluru's roadside markets, have turned into a headache for school managements, that are doing everything possible to keep their wards from using them during class hours.

Aditi Gyanesh |, Times of India

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/kids-fidget-with-spinners-send-school-managements-parents-into-a-tizzy/articleshow/59449989.cms

The three-winged spinner, that was once marketed as a stress and anxiety buster and attention enhancer, is threatening to become an addiction among children of all age groups, the managements say .

A school in Rajajinagar recently launched checks at the gates itself to prevent students from bringing the distracting toys to class.

Fidget spinners are not only available online but can be easily procured by the roadside, with the result the toy is flaunted by most city students. Children's addiction to the toy goes beyond school campuses to playgrounds and parks.

Principal of National Hill View Public School Rama Ranganathan told TOI, "We have simple instructions for students to avoid anything in class that distracts them from studies. Be it a Rubik's Cube or fidget spinner, they should not be in class. When it's learning time, students need to concentrate and when it's playtime, they can play."

Online portals, though, are packaging the toy as an apt device to enhance creativity and tackle anxiety and stress, among other things.An online portal even prescribes fidget spinners as the panacea for "attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, autism, to quit smoking and to stay awake on long car drives". The toy is even imbued with the ability to bring out that creative genius lying dormant in every individual as it increases concentration on the go, whether at home, school or workplace.

Once you spin the fidget, you want to do it again and again. On a thumb, between two fingers, on a table top, just about anywhere.

However, doctors from several hospitals did not approve of the claim that fidget spinners are stress-busters or concentration enhancers.

"It is a toy already known to distract students from studies. How can you expect it to help enhance concentration? Unless there is proof, parents and teachers should keep a tab on students using it, as it may have serious consequences. It should be restricted to playtime," said Dr Shilpa Shree S K, consultant psychiatrist, St Martha's Hospital.

Doctors admit that fidget spinners do have their posit ive s. Dr Bhupendra Chaudhry, consultant psychiatrist from Manipal Hospital said, "It might help adults concentrate or get rid of social anxiety, but in case of children, it can only distract.Young students don't have such a high burden that they need to go for a spinner to get rid of anxiety or stress."  
They also suggested that it is good if schools keep them outside classrooms and keep a check on their usage. Even in case of children with behavioural problems, doctors should be consulted before it is used, the doctors added.

According to a survey published in May 2017, 32% of the largest 200 American public and private high schools had banned spin ners from their prem ises as they were found to distract the class between the learning process.

Schools in the US have even warned parents to keep their children away from it

NO HELP TO AUTISTIC KIDS

The toy is not useful for autistic kids, say parents. Pur nima Sakkya, mother of Siddharth, 10, an autistic child, said, "This is a distraction even for autistic kids. When I heard about it, I checked it myself along with parents of other autistic kids, but found it's not at all fruitful, despite being a sensory toy. Moreover, there is no study to prove it .It's just internet marketing that has brought popularity. Now that they are available on roads, it's dangerous for special kids, and can lead to infections."  

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