It started with the great Pyramids. Then it continued with pharaohs, mummies and most recently hieroglyphics. When my student discovered his newest interest, I discovered another way to make our sessions fun and improve his literacy skills at the same time.
One of the books on Egypt included hieroglyphic puzzles in which we matched the symbols to the letters of the alphabet that they represented. Once all the symbols had been matched to letters, we were left with a message or riddle that related to the story. He was eager to try the next one and the next one after that. When all the puzzles in the book had been solved, I scrambled to find similar puzzles that would continue to engage him and encourage his thinking skills.
Those troubled that the advancement of technology is turning our kids into imbeciles should take a look at this article from Wired magazine: Clive Thompson on the New Literacy.
There is a definite, though debated and not widely recognized literacy gap in the United States between males and females. You will probably not be surprised to know that this gap widens even further when we consider African American Boys.
How We Are Failing Black Boys
Read this excerpt from the article Are schools failing black boys? by Celeste Fremon & Stephaine Renfrow Hamilton:
There’s no better way to catch your child’s attention than by handing him a glossy magazine filled with things he’s interested in. Chances are, he’ll probably start reading said magazine. He might even (GASP) enjoy it!
Magazine subscriptions are relatively cheap (reason #1 Why Boys Like Magazines!)
In fact, the cost of a one-year subscription is about the same as the cost of a paperback novel. Getting a magazine subscription will:
a) save you a lot of money (magazines sold on the shelves in stores are 3 to 4 times as expensive than subscription copies)
b) give your son something to look for in the mail. I still get giddy whenever a magazine comes for me. Your child will love having something
Summer Reading Loss
A 2004 Johns Hopkins University study
reported that all students, especially lower-income males and females experience learning loss during the summer months. Students who don’t read over the summer lose reading performance skills.
Sometimes, parents will do whatever it takes to get their kids reading. While the debate is still out about whether or not it is a good idea to bribe kids
to read or not, incentive programs DO work. There are many summer reading reward programs sponsored by various companies and education sites across the U.S. I can pretty much guarantee the list below is the most extensive on the web!
Before you check into these programs, remember that your local library probably has a great incentive program to get your son reading this summer. Also, in case you missed it, you may want to call his school and see if there are any