How to get our boys to read – Reformed Perspective

This short article appeared last month (July 14, 2017) on the digital version of Reformed Perspective and was written by editor Jon Dykstra.

Though brief, the article is worth your time, especially if you have boys who may not be interested in reading, or are interested in reading the kind of “potty humor” books referred to here. Dykstra calls us to aim higher with our sons and grandsons, and I couldn’t agree more.

Below is the beginning of the article; find the rest at the link below.

And if you are looking for some good ideas for children’s lit or for adult lit, check out the related site Really Good Reads for reviews and recommendations from a Christian perspective.

In a 2010 Wall Street Journal article, Thomas Spence argues that the way some “experts” were trying to encourage boys to read was all wrong. Their strategy involved pitching boys books like Goosebumps, Sir Fartsalot, Captain Underpants and The Day My Butt Went Psycho. If we want boys to read, so this line of thinking goes, then let’s give them the potty humor they adore. That’ll make them readers, right?

It might get some reading, but what it won’t do is give them any of the benefits that come from reading good books. Thomas Spence insists that instead of “meeting [boys] where they are at” we need to aim higher, and he quotes C.S. Lewis:

“The little human animal will not at first have the right responses. It must be trained to feel pleasure, liking, disgust, and hatred at those things which really are pleasant, likeable, disgusting, and hateful.”

If we point our sons to what’s disgusting and encourage their interest, how can we expect them to learn and appreciate what is good? How can our boys become men if, instead of training them up in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6), we reinforce their childishness? Instead of the gross, we need to fill our shelves with what’s great. We need to give our boys examples to aspire to, in books like Encyclopedia Brown, Saint George and the Dragon, The Green Ember, The Hobbit, Journey Through the Night, and Wambu: The Chieftain’s Son.

Of course, it’s one thing to stock our shelves, and another to get our boys to pull books off of them. How do we get them reading?

Two tips: start early, and get rid of the distractions.

Source: How to get our boys to read – Reformed Perspective

Published in: on August 16, 2017 at 7:06 AM  Leave a Comment  

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