What We Read To Boys Might Really Matter!

The growing awareness of differences in the ways boys and girls think is having an impact on books selected for reading aloud.  Being read to, in class, is a daily routine in primary classrooms.

Educators are beginning to ask...

Does reading aloud to children influence their reading patterns and habits?
What do girls like to read?
What books do girls enjoy hearing their teachers read to them?
What do boys like to read?
What books do boys enjoy being read to by their teachers?
Do the types of books parents and teachers read aloud influence a child's decision to read the book independently?

These are serious questions that have a direct impact on reading competence in school children.

This may be especially so among children... 

who don't like to read

because of their personal struggles with learning to read. 

 

Parents of kindergarten children have an equal stake in the answers to these questions.

 

Books that are read aloud, in class, are in demand by students in those classes. Any elementary school teacher will tell you that.

Reading aloud to children has been shown to be one of the strongest motivators for independent reading.

Books that end a chapter on a note of expectancy are particularly appealing. They create a level of interest sufficient for the children to beg, "Please, please, teacher, read the next chapter!"

Very often, books being read to a classroom of children are in demand...

even before the last page is read!

Most often, the demand from girls, for these books, outstrips that of boys.

Why?

Teachers tend to read favored books that were read to them in elementary school. And...since more teachers at that level are female, their read-aloud choices are influenced, in large measure, by gender.

Who, among adults, buys fiction sold in bookstores? Data reports in the press indicate, clearly, it is women.

Men, on the other hand, tend to buy more books on information.

What this shows is a general preference within each gender. Of course, men read fiction for pleasure and women read for information, as well.

The selection of books to read aloud to your kindergartener might be made with this information in mind. That is, if this trend prevails at younger ages, as well.

Reading material, considered by boys to be silly, won't motivate them to read the book "on their own," even in kindergarten.

Might that affect beginning readers at the readiness stage?
Would boys become more willing readers if the subject matter included their preferences?
Would they struggle less with learning to read?
Would they embrace reading to learn when they get to 4th grade?
What we read to children might really matter!

Boys are interested in bugs and dinosaurs and things mechanical. They are interested in sports, policemen, and firefighters.They are interested in books that feed them information.

Of course, girls are, too. Their interests are wide and varied. They should hear books other than fiction and fantasy, too. 

However, many more boys are reluctant readers, than girls. Perhaps that statistic can be overcome through reading selection and availability.

Who, in the family, conducts the bedtime reading in your home? Who else but the Moms, by and large?

If your kindergartener is a boy, go to your public library and ask for books that satisfy male preferences. If the library doesn't have an adequate collection, encourage its development. Insist on it!

By no means is the suggestion one that means no fiction for boys or no information for girls. The suggestion is given to increase your awareness of preferences and to act upon it.

 

 

Who knows?

Being read to may motivate your child to become a competent reader!

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