By Becca Gasiewicz
As parents and educators, we are very aware of the laundry list of things to focus on when raising and educating young children. As an avid reader, I believe it is of great importance to begin reading to and with children as soon as they are born, to engage them in stories and incite their imagination, and to continue to do so well after they are reading independently.
The famous author for adults and now kids, James Patterson, once said, “There’s no such thing as a kid who hates reading. There are kids who love reading, and kids who are reading the wrong books.” He is absolutely right. We are lucky to live in an era of thousands of wonderful books. Between 600,000 and 1 million are published in the United States every year to be exact! It is our responsibility to help children find the right books to motivate them and keep them reading.
So what is motivation to read?
Motivation is the whys of behavior. Young readers are motivated both intrinsically and extrinsically. Young people are intrinsically motivated to read by curiosity, involvement in the story or learning new information and the understanding of the importance of reading.
They are extrinsically motivated by recognition for reading, competing with others and the grades they receive in school. These factors are influenced and controlled by both the home and school environment. Young children are also heavily influenced by those they admire and their approach reading.
Why do we want to motivate young readers?
Statistics matter and create a visual for us to understand the depth at which reading impacts the intellectual development of young children. As important as the above statistics may be, it is also essential to feed the imagination and curiosity of children, while also instilling the importance of reading in young children.
Creating a love of reading in children creates a lifelong learner. Reading can be a window into other worlds, lifestyles, cultures, belief systems, among other things. When we stop and think about our culture in the United States, like many other countries, reading and literacy is the key into our society.
Download my free guide to books that motivate young readers, below.
Read Kiddo Read by James Patterson (http://www.readkiddoread.com/)
Outstanding International Books (http://www.usbby.org/list_oibl.html)
World of Words (http://wowlit.org/)
About Becca Gasiewicz
Becca Gasiewicz is the owner of Becca’s Book Box and Tutoring Services, which provides tutoring services to students with a variety of needs. She is also an adjunct instructor in the Early Childhood Education program at the University of Cincinnati. Becca has a master’s in early childhood education from Xavier University and a PhD in education with a focus in literacy from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Gasiewicz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.