10 Reasons to Read Better (& How to Start)
It is striking sometimes how little we realize SKILL DEVELOPMENT is more important than content. As Covey pointed out, the person who sharpens his saw can cut way more wood than the person who just keep sawing! I might add that a chainsaw is even better 😉
I get it--- you are busy doing life and doing work, but you probably don't realize how much time and impact it can have just to move your reading skill up a notch or two. It's even more profound with students...staying weak at reading means staying weak in both college and career.
Often we just need some motivation to start working on improving, so here are 10 Reasons improving your ability to read and comprehend is worth it. There are stories that you'll know which prove each of these points...just think a little.
1. Builds confidence intellectually and academically
2. Opens your world up to new information and new possibilities
3. Empowers you to find better answers
4. Improves your writing
5. Makes any kind of reading more enjoyable
6. Leads to more enriching friendships with others who read
7. Makes you smarter and your brain more efficient
8. Makes you more articulate
9. Makes you more interesting as a person
10. Means doing better in college because you are simply a better student
On balance, all this means is that it's more strategic to read better than to read more. Think about it: If you can't comprehend what you are reading, then it doesn't matter how much you read. Like typing, working on your speed can save you a massive amount of accumulated time. However, reading more effectively does even more. It isn't speed-reading that you need, it's speed-understanding. When you read effectively you can access the knowledge to change your world (and you'll have a ready-cure for all boredom in life).
There's more to it, but this is exactly why we emphasized (and taught) reading skill development to our kids. Even without a course or book you can do a couple of things that will make a huge difference:
1. Start reading and discussing the same book with a friend or group of friends.
2. Practice: Stop every 5 pages when you read and repeat the basic points you just covered out loud (this part is important). Just a few times a day will make a difference.
Just those two things will change your reading life (or that of your students). I dare you to try them. If you homeschool like we did, then you already have the ingredients for better reading right in front of you! So, get cookin'...
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand Jr.