[LMB] OT: new book on how to raise book-loving kids

Lois Aleta Fundis loisaletafundis at gmail.com
Tue Oct 1 02:48:56 BST 2019


On Sat, Sep 28, 2019 at 2:03 PM Eric Oppen <ravenclaweric at gmail.com> wrote:

> I can't remember not being able to read.


Same here. When I was 3, Mom said, she sat my next-younger sister and I
next to her on the sofa and proceeded to read the Sunday funnies (comic
strips) to us -- but I started reading them to her!  I have no idea how I
learned except partly from such being-read-to and from the then-new
miraculous medium of television. Honestly: TV had lots of words on the
screen, like the call-letters and cities of the stations (and numbers too,
like the channel), names of shows and the actors, and of course the
commercials. I often say, only half-jokingly, that some of the first words
I remember reading were Tide, Joy, and Chevrolet* (for non-US folks, that's
a brand of laundry detergent, a brand of dishwashing detergent [which I
understand in Britain is called washing-up soap], and a brand of
automobiles. In fact I drive a Chevy myself now!)

When I finally started school, at not-quite 6, I was already reading at
about a fourth-grade level, way ahead of the other kids in my class. In
fact, once the teacher caught me trying to read a later story in our
reading textbook and she took the book away from me so I'd pay attention to
what she was talking about, while all I was really trying to do was to not
be bored. And at the end of first grade, when we acted out a story about
the Three Billy-Goats Gruff from our music book as part of a program for
the PTA, I got the role of Narrator, which I suspect now was probably
originally meant for an older child or possibly even the teacher. By the
time I was in 4th or 5th grade or so (9 or10) I was dipping into some of
the books my older brother -- 9 years older than me -- had outgrown, the
jokes sections of the Reader's Digest, and newspapers. Especially the
comics, of course!  And trying to make sense of my brother's textbooks.
Algebra was bizarre to me then; but I got a grasp of it in due course, of
course.

*I have a later memory of asking Mom why "Chevrolet" is spelled with -et at
the end while it sounds like it should be an "a". "Oh," she said, "that's
because it's French." Louis Chevrolet, for whom the car is named, was an
early 1900's race-car driver originally from Switzerland, I found out
later. But that made sense to me because I knew a little about French; my
brother (if I was 6 or maybe 7, he was about 15) was studying it in high
school, and Mom, who had also studied it in high school, used to talk to
him a lot about it. Also Latin.
-- 
Lois Aleta Fundis
loisaletafundis at gmail.com

"No one you have ever been and no place you have ever gone ever leaves you.
The new parts of you simply jump in the car and go along for the rest of
the ride." -- Bruce Springsteen


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