“As companies from GE to Southwest Airlines have proven for years, people really are an organization's most important asset. Yet many employees don't feel their company treats them that way. To get managers to change their approach, consultant Hiam (The Vest Pocket CEO: Decision-Making Tools for Executives) begins [Making Horses Drink] by presenting an allegory that brings to life the adage "you can bring a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." It turns out, Hiam contends, that while you can't make horses drink, you can let them, and it is providing that opportunity that makes it easier to get horses—and employees—to do what you want.”
-Ken Blanchard | Publisher’s Weekely
With the breath of technology in our home...let alone the amount of technology exclusively owned and operated by our 5yr old (mostly due to excessive but much appreciated gift giving), we have not only slated time for reading books but have also ensured that books are as accessible as iPads and similar devices.
Her library is supplemented with small collections and book store-like displays we have assembled everywhere from bathrooms to play areas and bedrooms. This is in some ways an attempt to hedge our bet that fostering an intrinsic desire to read through example and accessibility will be as effective (if not more) than coaching her with daily reading lessons and unintentionally saddling her with performance anxiety and/or superfluous stress.
We have been addressing Catherine's literacy the same way we addressed Potty Training.We knew that she wouldn't be standing in front of her middle school locker someday and shit her pants… And we knew that grade school curriculum would someday result in her being able to read for both entertainment and educational pursuits / assignments...at least we thought it would, but our confidence in being on the right path has waned on occasion.
The apps we carefully select for her and tools available in her Montessori classroom (e.g., letter sound boards, the moveable alphabet, verb exercises, swing work and metal insets) all seem to have been serving as great supplements to our at-home reading time and web-time... But with the regularity of conversations with Tiger Moms who glow with pride (and justifiably so) while they cite the advanced levels attained and grades skipped by their children due to a rigorous reading regimen based on sound research, we sometimes wonder if there might be some additional gentle nudging we could be offering.
This morning, our fears were allayed and our hearts delighted when Catherine asked to read us two of her little "BOB" books. When I begged for one in particular, she declined at first and then after some consideration offered a compromise: "I'll read the one you want Daddy but only if I can read three books instead of two.".
Couldn't be more proud of how hard she worked to sound out every word.
Couldn't be more overjoyed at seeing the excitement in her face and pride in herself as she giddily declared her ability after reading some sentences straight through.
Couldn't be more impressed with her negotiating skills.
Pictured: BOB Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen & John R. Maslen are published by Scholastic Inc.