We learned just yesterday that test scores are up as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act. While test taking is an important skill, what many schools are struggling with is the art of reading and reading well. How do you get a child to garner the internal motivation to read ten pages of a text and retain it?
I've blogged numerous times about the importance of good books and why reading is such a vital piece to the 'workplace saint'. It's dawned on me of late: the content of what we read is important but where (and when) we read might be just as significant. Some ideas:
- Put "home" reading in one place. For me, this is next to the couch. If there's a magazine, book or newsletter that I'm interested in, I put it on the side table. Then, when I'm in FRM (Full Relaxation Mode) between 9-10pm, I can read what is waiting for me on the table.
- Put "work" reading in your in box. GTD enthusiasts will appreciate the need for one in box. Keep it simple in this regard and don't let your work reads get lost amidst other, less exciting, articles that find their home in your box. (Wired article about GTD's inbox)
- Put "transit" reading in your bag or briefcase. If you have something that you want to read but aren't sure when you'll get to it, bring it with you. For years I kept a file that was simply called "To Read" and would bring it in my briefcase. When I was in a doctor's waiting room or waiting for something to begin, I had my file and made good use of the time.
Sure, what we read matters a great deal, but where we read is just as significant. Creating helpful habits of locational reading is a crucial step to growing the reading practice.