Meet Joshua, a seventh-grade student at Harmony School of Science. Get his take on why parents should read with their kids, and why kids can benefit from stories – especially stories read to them by their parents and teachers.
Joshua has been helping in the library for the past few weeks by reading aloud to the kindergarten classes. He has especially enjoyed using Don Winn’s picture books and was kind enough to spare the time for a quick interview during a busy school day.
Do you like reading to the kindergarteners?
What’s your favorite thing about it?
Yes. I like to see when they smile.
Do they have any favorite books?
They really like the one about the squirrel. (Twitch the Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge) Their favorite part is when he starts falling. They really like the picture on that page too.
When you read to the students, do you use the questions at the end of the books? Is there a question that the kids give good answers to?
Yes. I think they help the kindergarteners talk about the books. They like the question about why the squirrel wanted to go across the bridge. They have lots of things to say about that, and they give all kinds of answers to the different questions.
What do you like about the book when you read it to the kids?
I like that it teaches a lesson about how it’s important to listen to your parents. The kids like that lesson too. They understand it really well.
Do you think stories with lessons are a good way for kids to learn?
Yes. My dad likes to read to us. He uses Aesop’s fables to teach us good lessons. Then he’ll ask us questions, and if we get the answer right, sometimes he’ll give us a prize.
Do you like it when your dad spends time reading with you?
Yes. He’s a truck driver, so he’s not always able to do it, but I like it when he does. It’s nice to spend the extra time with him.
Do you think those times you got to read together will be something that you’ll remember when you’re grown up?
Yes…not every minute of it, but I’ll remember that we used to spend time reading together.
What’s your favorite one of Aesop’s fables? Why do you like it?
The Tortoise and the Hare. Because it’s about not rushing through something, but concentrating and doing something right.
Is that a lesson that you have been able to use in your own life?
Yes. Like with schoolwork. If I just rush through it and try to do it fast, I fail…or I have to do it over again. It’s better just to take my time and do it right the first time.
So if you ever have kids of your own, or maybe if you become a teacher or someone else who works with kids when you’re grown up, do you think that you would teach them by using stories with lessons and asking questions about them?
Yes. It’s a good way to learn. It helps you remember things.