Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Does order create readers - or does reading create order?

Here's an SLJ Extra Helping article that discusses study showing that orderly homes could lead to better reading skills for the kids who live in them.

As the article points out, this is one of those "what came first - the chicken or the egg?" conundrums. Is it really the orderliness that leads to better reading, or is it that parents who read to their kids and encourage literacy are more likely in general to have orderly homes?

Chaos and noise set all my nerves jangling - and how can one read when all hell is breaking loose all around? - but I'm not sure that cleanliness is a prerequisite for reading households. In my family, we use the time we could spend dusting or cleaning windows on - reading!

What it boils down to is that families need to be able to carve long moments of uninterrupted peace from an otherwise crazy, cluttered day in order to read together. Even if it's just 30 minutes at bedtime, kids and grown-ups sharing books together can create their own oasis of harmony and order.


  1. Oh blah. My children are doomed. There are so many disorderly piles of books and drawings and half built castles that "order" is a concept they have no conception of. Kind of like people in the tropics and snow.

  2. As a teacher, I visited many chaotic and cobwebby homes that had produced wonderful readers, so I'm not sure my anecdotal evidence supports the study. However, i totally agree with your idea of a reading oasis. Hmm...wonder if anyone has a blog called that?