Hi dear friends!
Today (and the whole week) I am away from home training hard for work!
That’s why this post has been scheduled (for once) and why I will keep it simple and straightforward because I want YOU to do the dirty work LOL
Today’s topic is schools and their assigned reads.
Do you think that schools reach their goal with their choice of mandatory readings? Or do they miss it completely? Would you do it differently? How?
I think that school’s goals are on the one hand to have students get to know their history and culture; on the other hand to make kids read.
I will speak from my European upbringing perspective but from what I’ve read it seems to me that US schools work the same.
Me and my kids had/have assigned reads.
Usually they were classics like Balzac, Victor Hugo, Baudelaire, Edmond Rostand, Zola, Camus, Ionesco, Kafka, etc.
Molière aside I hated these reads! Yet I loved reading. And my kids feel the same.
Why did school choose these reads? Because they were part of our history and our culture.
I get it that it’s important to have culture and know about our past and history. Truly I loved history and I love art and culture in general.
But I found these reads BORING! And hard to read.
Make a summary of the books!
You want your students to know all about the social class struggles of the 19th century? Just have a summary of Germinal!
Then have your students read the summary and one meaningful, powerful scene from the book!
Give them arresting quotes. Quotes can say so much!
Follow with a debate with your students where you’ll instill all cultural references, conflicts etc.
Of course if your student want to read more then give them the whole book! But don’t make it mandatory! Give them a taste. Make them want it! Like a teaser! 😀
If you want your students to read, request that they read at least “x” books but let them choose the books!
Reading must be pleasurable.
If they are lost because they have never read, give them lists with YA books and describe their topics!
If they like to play D&D give them something like the Throne of Glass or Eragon or the Shadowhunters or …
If they like sorcery then it will be Harry Potter or any other books about witches and sorcerers.
If they like history point them to Salt to the Sea or All the Lights We Cannot See or ….
If they like contemporary and are gay or lesbian give them Simon and the Homo Sapiens or
If they like topics around racisme give them The Hate U Give or A Very Large Expanse of Sea or…
If they like sciencefiction give them Lifl1k3 or Skyward or Dune or …
If they like mystery or thriller give them One of Us is Lying or We Were Liars or…
See what I mean?
Now do tell me: what do you think of school assigned reads? Would you do it differently? Are you satisfied with what your kids have to read?
Thanks for reading!
PS I’ll do my best to comment back asap but being away from home it might be some days before I get back to you.