A great post written by my friend and colleague about how our own generational bias impacts how we view children’s literacy.
The generation gap is an American institution. Every generation experiences it and technology exacerbates it. We don’t talk about the impact the generation gap has on our perception of children nearly enough. Specifically, we need to start talking about how our generational bias is impacting our perception of literacy.
We think of the classics as the books that have been loved for generations. And we think of it as a tragedy if these books aren’t being cherished by new generations. But we create readers or nonreaders by what we provide. They might not care about the Babysitters Club, and aspiring author and tomboy Jo March might not speak to your favorite 12 year old. Some kids need Harry Potter in their lives, but some will reject the entire wizarding world. All of this is fine. The very idea of a “good” book is subjective. And honestly, as a collective group…
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Yes! I know it means somethings g different to you as an educator of students this age, but even as a parent this resonates. We are trying to steer Maddie away from the baby books and toward slightly more advanced books. The other night she wanted to read a baby book and I stopped myself short of saying “But that’s for babies!” I honestly don’t care what she wants to read as long as she reads. I hope I can continue this when both girls reach teenager age.
Side note: this is an excellent piece on one of the many perceived differences people seem to want to point out about millennials and the rest of the US.
Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! I’m glad to hear this resonates with you as a parent. It’s tricky sometimes to watch a kid read a book without offering an opinion on what they’re reading, but encouraging them to read no matter what is what matters most. It’ll be interesting to see what your girls want to read once they are teenagers!