Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I have always loved to read. When I was in elementary school it became obvious to my parents that "grounding" me was not a very effective punishment if I was allowed to read, so "not being able to read" had to be part of my grounding.

However, when I was in junior high reading became a chore. I constantly had to write book reports, and they had to be written a specific way, and had to be about books from a specific list ... and I was never really interested in any of the books from the list.

So for years I didn't read - well, not anything that wasn't specifically assigned.

Also, when I was young, I would come home from school and do my homework first. It usually took me about 1/2 hour to 1 hour. After that I had time to do my chores and then have fun (play with my friends, watch TV, whatever). I remember I loved school - it was great to go to a place where I could spend 6 hours with my friends, the work wasn't that bad, and I was able to get very good grades.

But now I notice that kids come home from school and have two, three, four hours of homework - most of it just for the sake of giving homework. In my opinion, that's too much. I find it hard to believe anyone could enjoy life having to do that much busy work. The system seems to be geared toward driving the enjoyment out of life, just like my middle school drove the love of reading out of me.

I'm back to loving reading again. It happened in high school when I got to a pair of teachers (two years of English) who said, "Yeah, read whatever you want and then come tell me about it." It was much easier then to read things I liked and then discuss the book with someone else who had read it. I got to read Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, Lord of the Flies, a couple of HG Wells stories - all very enjoyable, all thanks to teachers who wanted me to enjoy reading, not find it a chore.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! It's the quality of the education that counts, not the quantity.