Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Here’s How To Get Boys To Read In 5 Easy Steps (2017) by Patricia Furstenberg

This is the second post from the archives of author and poet, Patricia Furstenberg who as you can tell from some of her books is a dog lover. In this post Patricia shares the steps to igniting the love of reading in boys. I found this interesting as only recently in two separate conversations, parents mentioned that their daughters loved to read but that their sons were much more difficult to get interested..

Here’s How To Get Boys To Read In 5 Easy Steps (2017) by Patricia Furstenberg

Between job requirements, commuting to work and school, extra murals, the latest Minecraft or Spinners, how does one win the battle of raising an all-rounder child? Inevitably, something will fall between the cracks. Don’t let it be your child’s love of books. Raising a boy who finds joy in reading sounds easier said than done, but, in the long run, it’s a battle worth fighting. Your mission is finding your way through the maze of everyday activities and temptations towards a half-an-hour bedtime reading.

1. Phonics: Associating a speech sound to each letter.

2. Sight: Some English words must first be recognised as a whole, then sounded (“the”). English vocabulary has 26 letters, yet when reading we use 44 speech sounds, 20 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds. Thinking skills are therefore involved.

3. Contextual analysis: Prediction of what will happen next.

4. Structural analysis: Understanding what a word means by looking at its root or figuring out its meaning from the context.

Here are the five steps on how to get your son to read – and loving it.

1. Visit the local library together, find books that interest him.

Image courtesy Unsplash
Image courtesy Unsplash

Let your son wander around the library, pick a book and sit down to page through it. Find books geared at your child’s age group and interests.

Read aloud to your son from as early in infancy as possible. Research shows that children who were read to as infants have higher chances to grow up with a love for books.

If your son can read, take turns reading aloud every day. Let your child read to you and don’t worry if he is mispronouncing some words. Rather allow him the pleasure of having finished that page.

2. Leave reading material around the house, reading means more than books.

Be it a picture book, a magazine, a joke collection, or even a comic book, you want your son to pick it up and enjoy a page or two at a time. How-to books on sport or another interest might be a great place to start getting a boy interested in reading.

Never make reading a chore. Rather surround your child with books than forcing reading on him. Place a bookshelf in his room and allow him to choose a few books he’s really interested in.

3. Read yourself… and make sure you get caught reading.

Children often mimic what they see, not what they hear and we, as parents, are our children’s mirrors. Waiting for your son to come out from school? Read; keep a book in the car just for this reason. Going to the Home Affairs for your son’s passport renewal? Take a book with you and allow your son to see you reading in public. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when we’re reading.

Modern day technology allows you to download eBooks on your phone. It is a casual way to get boys comfortable about reading in public.

4. Get dad, an uncle or a grandfather involved.

Get Dad to read too if your son struggles with reading. Try a father-son book club and perhaps get involved with other dads and their sons. Make it casual, have a BBQ-Book Club or a campfire. Pair books with an activity, away from technology might also help.

Remember, having positive role models helps both boys and girls stay interested in reading.

5. Start a reading list and have a rating system – think about it like a sport.

Write down what your son reads and what he would like to read next. Allow him to rate the books, group them in categories. This way you can both see where his interests lay and he can feel more in control over his reading.

Explain to him that reading is like a sport, it takes practice to get better at it.

Being a good reader will make learning during school years and tertiary education a lot easier. Reading entails an understanding of what is being said behind the literary meaning of the story, connecting that information to what we already know, relating to it and drawing knowledge from it.

Reading is the capacity of focusing on a task for a certain amount of time. And these skills, like the pieces of a puzzle, are what later help children experience a successful schooling career. For this is what reading entails, being able to focus for a prolonged time. Or at least until Mum or Dad come to switch off your light and forcefully remove the book from your hand because… tomorrow is school.

©Patricia Furstenberg 2017

This post was initially written and posted on the Huffington Post SA on 21st June 2017

About Silent Heroes

Silent Heroes’ is a highly emotional read, action-packed, a vivid story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.

*’Silent Heroes’ is the ideal read for the fans of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Dear John’!*

When Talibans descends in the village of Nauzad and discover girls can read, a woman accepts the blame and is killed on the spot for breaking the Islam law. Her teenage daughter witnesses the sacrifice and swears revenge, her life and that of her brother becoming intertwined with those of the US Marines serving at FOB Day nearby. But the Taliban is infiltrated everywhere and friends or foes are hard to differentiate. The U.S. Marines fight with bravery to protect the civilians of Nauzad and to fend off the Taliban at Qala-e-Bost, thus protecting Bost Airport, a vital strategic point for the allies. Faced with questions about the necessity of the war, with the trauma of losing their platoon-mates and the emotional scars of battle, the US Marines race against time in one last battle of eradicating the Taliban before it is too late.

The War in Afghanistan is a contemporary, vitally important conflict whose meaning needs to be understood by the public worldwide. ‘Silent Heroes’ is a narrative about the value of life and the necessity of combat; the terror of dying; the ordeal of seeing your loved ones and your platoon-mates killed in front of your eyes; the trauma of taking a human life.

Read about very well trained MWDs, military working dogs, capable of detecting the smallest traces of explosives, working in the extreme weather condition environments, under the stressful battlefield situations that is the War in Afghanistan.

Smart and agile, at the end of the day what these dogs are looking forward to is the close bond they developed with their handlers, which call themselves the dog’s partners, brothers, daddies.

From the storyteller of the Bestseller “Joyful Trouble” comes a riveting, fictional account inspired by the War in Afghanistan, a battle that spanned centuries and has affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

“Light, knowledge, they bring the courage to look at the people around us, accepting them for what they are.”

“Do you ever think that history speaks of victors and captors, of battles and soldiers whose lives have been lost and history even counts them, but of the casualties on the civilian side?”

“When soldiers grieve, time takes a screenshot and a new star rises in the sky.”

One of the recent reviews for the book

Ms, Furstenberg’s concise yet sentimental style takes us through an emotional book. Her vivid descriptions, both physical and emotional, opened up my mind and my heart to the American soldier’s and the Afghanistan people’s turmoils. The book embraces the special relationship built between humans as well as soldiers with their canine partners who play a very important role. A silent role. Have you ever read about these wonderful dogs? I have not. I’ve read a lot about the situation in Afghanistan but her research delves into areas I wasn’t familiar with. The culture of this country is revealed by her words in such a way that made me enthralled by the citizens and appalled by the Taliban. Read it and be taken on a journey of brutality and humanity which left me feeling happy to be part of the human race. There is hope for a better world.

Head over and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

A small selection of books by Patricia Furstenberg

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And on Amazon UK:

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About Patricia

Patricia Furstenberg is a multi-genre author, poetess and mother. With a medical degree behind her, Patricia is passionate about history, art, dogs and the human mind. “Silent Heroes” is her 13th book and her first contemporary fiction novel. So far Patricia wrote historical fiction, poetry and children’s books. All her books have one common denominator, dogs.

What fuels her is her fascination with words and coffee. She is the author of the bestseller Joyful Trouble and a prolific writer working on her next novel already, a historical fiction. Will it feature a dog as well? Only tme will tell. Patricia lives happily with her husband, children and dogs in sunny South Africa.

Connect to Patricia.

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My thanks to Patricia for allowing me to access her blog and to share some of the terrific posts with you and I hope you will head over and exlore her archives further. Thanks Sally