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Appealing subject matter. Allow your sons to choose their own books (within limits, of course). If they are interested in cars and baseball, do not steer them towards a story about penguins. They will be more likely to read if they are interested in the subject matter.

Field trips. Hands-on learning is often the best type of instruction for all children. If your child is in the middle of book about space travel, consider planning a trip to the to a planetarium. Once he has finished reading the book, he will be enthralled by the way in which his literary knowledge matches a real world event. This will encourage him to continue reading in the future.

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Expand our definition of reading. Include magazines, graphic novels, and newspapers in school reading. Let boys know that all these materials count as reading. When they see that this method of gaining knowledge is enjoyable, they will expand their horizons to include more traditional definitions of reading.

As a society that is constantly growing and learning, we need to ensure that our boys learn to read at the same level as our girls. Literacy is not just a skill in the classroom, but a way for people to connect and empathize with those around them. With this in mind, let’s try to answer the question that Robert Lipsyte asked: “Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?” Yes, there is, and we can all work together to make it a reality.

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An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank God my Mom made me read several books each summer when I was growing up. Read action stories, sports stories, etc. I did see my Dad reading newspapers, and work related magazines. It really helps when parents value reading in the home.

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