Sunday, 18 November 2012

Books – Periodicals and Newspapers - An Ongoing Affair

Maya Angelou, a renowned American author and poet quoted, “any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him”.

I recently visited my mentor with whom I had started my career in HPCL. Though I no longer work but his beliefs and thoughts still inspire me a lot. During our conversation he shared an article, which his son had written for a magazine. The best part was that his son has been reading the same magazine since he was a small kid and now he has written an article for that.

I feel all the reading material, which comes to our home, in form of newspapers, periodicals, magazines etc have an everlasting impact on the young minds at our home. We have a notion that a child is not learning from a book until he is reading all what is written in it. I have already been proven wrong by my 3 year old son. His first question for his dad, as he enters home after a long day at his office is, “Dad have you got a new magazine today?” and he always expects a yes for an answer. Luckily my husband has subscribed to multiple periodicals, which are delivered at his office address.

Sharing my Kid’s Favorites

From our section of magazines: Earlier when his dad used to hand over a copy of The Economist magazine to him I would wonder what he would like in that. But now he browses through the whole magazine and has questions about the pictures and illustrations in there. We on our part try to answer his queries in simple terms. He is addicted to it. Also he likes browsing National Geographic and The New Yorker magazines. Unfortunately in India we don’t get the junior version of National Geographic magazine, which would be more apt for his age.

Another magazine, which I came across at my parent’s home, on our last visit, was BBC Knowledge (Indian Edition). It is a bi-monthly magazine and I felt it is a perfect magazine for young inquisitive minds. It has articles related to science, history and nature. I have subscribed to it and am waiting for the first one to come. Will share more details about it after going through the same.

Newspapers: I have my own favorite sections in the newspaper and after my son was born I always read my morning paper along with him. I didn’t even realize when he made his own favorites and would make me read those segments repeatedly. He unlike me wanted to keep all his favorites and would not just allow me to discard any of the old papers. The storage is always a problem. One fine day an idea struck me. I suggested that we cut all the important news and pictures, which he likes and can paste them in a scrap-book. He loved the idea and now he is on his second one already!

Magazines just for him: A very good friend of mine and a mother of 7 yr old twins, suggested me some magazines. The first one is Magic Pot. This magazine is for the 2-5 years age group. It is a weekly magazine. It includes activities related to fine motor skills, reading development, hand-eye coordination, alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes etc, etc. It also has picture stories, which take the little ones into the land of imaginations and develop their interest in reading. The best way to get this magazine is to ask your newspaper vendor to deliver it because if you go through subscription route it never comes on time. However, the paper vendor will deliver it at your doorstep every week without fail.

The other magazine she suggested was Toot (for age group 2-5) and Hoot from the same publication (for older kids). This is a monthly magazine and very much like Magic Pot covers all the aspects. The print quality is better than Magic Pot. The only disadvantage I feel is that it is monthly. My son somehow prefers Magic Pot to Toot and is completely hooked on to it.

What is important?

I strongly believe it is reading, which is most important more than what is being read to some extent. As a kid I have read lot of Champak, Balhans, Nandan, Chandamama etc. and were good source of information. It all depends on what your kid likes to read. You may just help him by providing the right kind of books. Let him take a lead in showing you his interest areas.

And please don’t forget what we had mentioned in our earlier blog post on books – you are his role model, he WILL follow you. To get your child into reading anything, start reading it yourself. 

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