A Conversation for How to Teach your Child the Basics

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Post 21

Barney's Bucksaws

Absolutely! Kids' attitudes seem to be what's in it for me? If they are guided to see a reason to learn something, they will. I think that's why my son could read anything, and did well in history (your past, and your country's past, dictate your present and future - when he was old enough to understand the concept), but fought with math - in his life, he just couldn't see the reason for it. Times have changed. The big bad world caught up to him, and he's had to learn specific math for his job, but now he has a reason to learn.

What a nice evening it used to be, when the Kid was sprawled on the couch with a book, and his Dad and I were in our big chairs with books, soft classics on the stereo. All of us doing our "own thing" together. Great memories all around.

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Post 22

St. Sabryn

A reverse example: My father never liked to read. A magazine article was about as much as he ever dealt with; he preferred the TV over anything in print. He has always loved bookstores...just not books. But then again, he did not have good role models as a child; neither of his parents really read much. Now, however, he reads constantly, and is always eager to tell me about the latest thing he learned. The reason for this? He got a computer. Now he can find information on any subject he wants without digging through a library or bookstore. (I must admit, he is much better at surfing the web than I am!) It's opened a world to him that he previously was afraid to enter. I have the feeling that he doesn't think of it as "reading," and that somehow that makes it ok. At any rate...if a 53-year-old man can suddenly gain interest in reading, I would say it is never too late. And the moral of this story (if there is one) is that the internet, while it has its dangers, is a better learning tool than many realize.

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Post 23


Sorry to resurrect this thread, but there were some words of wisdom in tonight's paper on the dangers of reading to your children which I thought to pass on to those of you not in London.

The first concerns a mum who refused to read Enid Blyton to her girls on the grounds that it was sexist (which it very well may be). Instead, she chose to read, repeatedly, 101 dalmatians. This meant that the girls developed a fixation on puppies. Come the present day, one of the girls is a layabed in the mornings. Her boyfriend finds that the only way to get her out of bed is to stand at the window and say "Ooh look, puppies in the garden!". It never fails. She is 29.

As the girls grew older, the mother read Animal Farm. Of course they were unable to get all the metaphor etc. When they got to the bit where the horse dies, both girls burst into tears. "Don't be silly", says Mum, "why are you crying, its only a metaphor for the Common Man". and refused to read any more, ever.

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Post 24

Titania (gone for lunch)

Enid Blyton - sexist?

I don't know, I haven't read the books as an adult, only as a kid - and I'm telling you - a kid won't think of that...

...even Pippi Långstrump (? Longstockings) stories have been accused of being racist...

...adults will ALWAYS manage to interpret various undesired qualities in ANY stories... but that, I believe, is because adults have an adult MIND...

...a kid will NOT think like that, and will NOT become a sexist or racist or whatever, not by reading books at least - I believe the behaviour of the adults in their closest environment means more...

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