According to Mem Fox, there are 3 secrets of reading:
1. Understanding print
2. Understanding language
3. Understanding how the world works
Without the combination of these "understandings", one cannot truly learn to enjoy reading.
But Fox claims that the solution is simple - read aloud to your child. The magic that she's referring to enjoying time spent with your little one sharing and reading books.
The big key here to the success of building the bridge to reading is...
Fun. Yep, it's not rocket science, although it is an element that can easily get pushed to the back burner when parents and teachers are faced with standards and deadlines. Make reading fun. Read their favorite book for the zillionth time even though you're sick of it yourself.
My own parents often speak of two different books that I would beg them to read over and over until it drove them absolutely nuts. One was a potty book and the other was a night time book. I remember my favorite part was when the giraffe got tucked into bed.
Not to sound uppity, but I was one of the better readers in my elementary school classes. Fox's theory would attribute the repetition of reading to becoming a good reader.
We all want our kids to be "top" learners and to avoid struggling with any subject or task. Of course, we can't avoid it completely (Try to convince me that I'd ever enjoy math), spending time reading and discovering books with your little one isn't exactly a sacrifice.
One reason that I like Mem is because I believe she would be an advocate for music education. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book,
"From songs, children learn words, sentences, rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, all of which they'll find later in the books that they read."
Take THAT, school systems across America who have cut music in favor of more "studious" subjects! But that is a whole 'nother issue in itself.
I enjoyed this quick read and would recommend it to any parent or teacher. Reading aloud might not solve all the world's problems, but it's a start!