Lifestyle Reading cannot be learned by obligation

Reading cannot be learned by obligation


The best way for our children to acquire this pleasure is to serve as an example: read with them and with them stories that motivate and seduce them.

The symbolic language, the one we speak, is the one that made us human and the one that continues to humanize us in our evolutionary process. It is estimated to be 400,000 years old. Writing, by contrast, is an almost contemporary acquisition by comparison. It is estimated to be no older than 6,000 years.

The fundamental basis for the acquisition of literacy is spoken language. The average age for acquiring spoken language is considered to be two and a half years. This skill is acquired through a process of linguistic immersion mainly stimulated by the mother. That is why it is called the mother tongue.


Pedagogically, it is considered that the systematic learning of literacy should not begin before the age of six, a consideration that is violated in many early childhood education centers in our country.

In the Scandinavian countries, early childhood education extends to six years of age and systematic literacy learning does not begin until the first grade of primary school, at the age of seven. These countries rank first in learning and school outcomes, while ours is at the bottom.

According to the PISA 2006 report, the level of reading comprehension of 15 year old Spanish students was the fourth lowest in the OECD countries, and although there have been continuous increases, the 2015 data still left our country somewhat below of the average.


My answer is negative because, if we are to teach them, they must learn; and if they face it as an obligation, we kill their desire.

With our help, the child learns to read alone. What can we do to get reading children? We are readers.

For those children in whose homes there is no reading habit, it will be more difficult to acquire it. However, they can also find identifying models for reading in other people in the family or in teachers who convey this enthusiasm to them.

Teachers who do not have a passion for reading who dedicate themselves to other tasks. I would demand from a teacher, first, love for children, then patience and respect for their diversity and rhythm, and third, passion for reading. Come to class with a book or newspaper and tell students about the amazing and wonderful things they have discovered and learned.

Gloria Gorchs, a librarian specializing in early childhood and youth education, writes that “the role that parents must play is undoubtedly key. This is not always true, but in families where there is a strong reading tradition and children grow up surrounded by books, they tend to have a different predisposition to the book .


They learn to read as they learn to speak, with the participation of the adults with whom they interact.

Let’s not make reading feel like a requirement. We do not correct their mistakes. Not when they speak nor when they read. They are creating a symptom and they are not going to solve it by our correction, which will discourage them. Neither criticism nor correction. Love, patience, respect, understanding, and our enthusiasm and passion for reading.

The children’s pedagogues Bruno Bettelheim and Karen Zelan point out, in Learning to read , that “it is not surprising that children’s minds respond more easily to poetry and that this is what best motivates them to learn to read. It is neither more nor less than another proof that children should be taught using texts that they find worthy of their attention and their most determined efforts ”.

The recreational activities in which numbers, letters and written words play a role in the games are part of the life of the child from which comes to the symbolic and begins to distinguish icons and TRADEMARKS, for example in food packaging and advertising. Previously, the psychologist Jean Piaget had stated: “Everything a child is taught is prevented from inventing.”


In learning to read there is something prior to meaning – which equates it to learning language – and that is sound. Both when speaking and when reading, the child is amused by the chains of words by their sound, beyond their meaning.

Therefore, poetry can be a good way to start the child in reading. As the writer Gabriel García Márquez recounts, he decided that he would become a writer at the age of six, when he fell raptly in love with his teacher, who taught them the pleasure of reading by reciting poetry to them.

In order to help the student in learning to read and write, it is essential that the text stimulates the child in his discovery and exploratory activity. Let the content and form of the text stimulate your desire to read. That it prompts him to demand the help of the adult to decipher the words whose meaning will allow him, for example, to unravel the answer to the pressing questions that are asked or to the march and the outcome of the adventures of the characters. The reading text does not have to be common; the most stimulating thing would be that each child could choose their reading texts.

  • A text that describes a topically happy family in which the mother and father love each other, communicate and respect each other, will not be stimulating for a child who lives a situation of domestic violence or who does not have a father or mother.
  • Nor will it be stimulating if learning to read is with texts that, by insisting on the everyday, do not provide new knowledge.

The child requires stimuli to make the effort to renounce the most immediate playful pleasure. The promise of a better future does not work on him.

The stimulus that leads to learning to read has to be found in the content of the text, in the surprise conquest of an ultimate signifier that reveals the meaning of a discovery or a mystery, that produces the satisfaction of having reached it and make you want to share it.

MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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