Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hey Kids: Reading is Fun!

The following is a re-print of a guest post I wrote last week over at the QuincyTutoring.com - an awesome resource for parents, students, and educators. Not only do they help match students with tutors, but there are many wonderful articles with tips about homework preparation, gearing up for college, studying help, advice for parents, and more! There is something for students of ages - check them out and I hope everyone has a great school year!


I am not a professional educator, teacher, or tutor. Nor do I work in education administration. So when Eric Clark of Quincy Tutoring asked me to guest blog, I thought, how am I a good fit to his website? Sure, I wrote a childrens book I am trying to promote (more on that later), but this website is geared toward matching students to tutors and other educational subjects. There are articles about homework, preparing for exams, and checklists for parents.
I began by reading the articles to get an idea of what Quincy Tutoring was all about. It took only a few sentences to realize these articles were written for me! A parent of three children aged four through fourteen in all stages of education. A parent, who for the past fourteen years, has indeed been an educator, tutor, and teacher.
When my oldest was a baby, I read to him everyday. To say he loved books would be an understatement. This great love affair continued until he discovered video games. Sadly, the same thing happened with my 2nd child. Getting my two older children to read just twenty minutes a day to fulfill their school reading log requirements was pure torture. They never read one second more than was absolutely necessary. When the summer reading list came out, my son would scan the list for a book he had already read and proudly declare he was done. How could this be? As a child, I loved to read. As an adult, I look forward to curling up with a book. As a parent, it was my responsibility to figure out what I could do to change the situation.
At this point, I must give my husband props. Not only does he love to read, but also he has an incredible collection of books for all ages, which he adds to as often as possible. He also recognized the problem and went to his bookshelf. He pulled out the first in the Harry Potter series. I sat down with my son — I believe he was in third grade at the time. I began reading. He began listening. We took turns reading. We read for more than twenty minutes. We did this every night before bed. When we finished the book, he said the most incredible thing to me: “Reading is like a movie in your head.”
Last year, I decided to create my own ‘movie’ called Nate Rocks the World. Using my three children as my inspiration, I created Nathan Rockledge: a 10-year-old boy who loves to draw cartoons that come to life, starring Nate Rocks as the hero. Nate finds himself in all different kinds of adventures — one day he is a rock star, the next a super hero, the next a government spy. Occasionally he gets in trouble at school or at home, but in the end, he always saves the day. Unlike comic books, Nate Rocks the World does not have any pictures. It is up to the reader to create the adventures in their own minds. Nate Rocks the World teaches children that everyone and anyone can accomplish great things.
Over the years, my children have come to enjoy reading. Oh sure, they complain about some of the books they have to read for school, but when it is a book they have picked out on their own or about a subject of relevance, they read with enthusiasm. Teaching our kids to love reading is one of the best gifts we can give.
To learn more about Nate Rocks the World, please visit: www.karentoz.com

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