I live on a broad leafy avenue, lined by trees and wide open spaces. It's one of the greenest places in my little town, but we've had few neighbours over the years. Instead, we're flanked by small schools. When we venture outside in the mornings, I can hear children chanting their ABC's like a new age mantra. It never ceases to amaze me that they're taught to holler their alphabet at ear shattering frequencies. It's amusing and at times, exasperating.
Words like C-A-T, M-A-T, ring in our ears and on some days, the very air we breathe is punctuated with nursery rhymes, all in that loud, nasal tone, until there's no getting away from the fact that in small town India, rote memory is the key to learning.
For some reason, this has always upset me. I'm no expert in the educational system--I've never taught at schools neither have I the credentials to comment on any learning programme. And yet, I love and have for years, made a living with words. Instinctively, I realize that the way reading is taught in most Indian schools is enough for young children to turn away from books completely. It's just plain wrong.
Reading is a magical, exciting journey. It opens up your mind to a whole new world of vibrant thought and imagination. It can develop your personality like nothing else can. Studies have proven that it's one of the few activities that engages the entire brain.
Over the next few months, my blog posts will attempt to tell you, plainly and simply, exactly what you can do nurture the love for reading in your children and to overcome any challenge that you may face along the way. While it's best to start young, reading is a habit that you can develop at any age. I'm all set to talk to some of India's best authors, publishers, literary enthusiasts, educationalists and mothers. Come join me as we celebrate a world of words!