Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm grateful for....Books, the ones made of paper!

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, lived a "Pigeon Pair".
They were noisy, boisterous and active.
But some days there were moments like this
Sharing a story in the warming winter sun.

I have always been an avid reader. 
 Growing up, I would transport myself into the worlds of Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl.  
I know I sound like a broken record, but if my children were to master one skill in their life, it would be to read confidently, fluently, with comprehension and Love IT!
Reading can you link to a world beyond your suburban door.
It opens the doors of knowledge, filling your mind with vocabulary, imaginings and information.

We have books everywhere in our house.  
It was half conscious decision to make sure our children grow up in a "text rich" environment,
 But mostly it was because we truly love books and reading.
Many things this week have made me grateful for the joy I have known through reading books.

Over the past few years, I have noticed a very quick decline in our reliance on books for information.
Now within seconds a google search will turn up images and information from sources all over the world.
The days of project kits, and miniature filing cabinets of library catalogue cards have disappeared into the forest of the world wide web.
I thought it was happening, but I didnt know it had happened until.....

For the first year ever, when I asked my class,
 where we could find information to answer our questions, 
the first three answers were
I kid you not, google! These kids are 5 years old!
There was no mention of books, libraries, magazines.
These five year olds will not know the joy of reading endless books to select snippets of relevant information, scouring pictures in Encylcopaedieas, to find the perfect one.
No more photocopying or cutting out project kits.
It is simply search, click, print, stick.

This week students, all over Austrlalia participated in our National testing program, NAPLAN.
How will our future class of NAPLAN participants (including my very own Pigeon Pair) be able to complete a test made up of reading printed questions and answering using a pencil to write, when they are so accustomed to using technology to answer their queries?

These children may have never needed to use our ancient historical documents of dictionaries, encyclopaedias and telephone books so how on google earth are they going to know how to put words in alphabetical order?

Write a narrative or a poem?
Will these children even know what these are?
Why read a story or a poem, when you could simply "you tube" a version complete with sound and animations?

I want my children to be able to "compete" in a digital world.
I am grateful for technology (how else would I know the joy of blogging?)
But perhaps our yellow brick road to success could be paved with books and lined with computers?
I want them to experience the thrill of reading AND the awe of technology.
Could I go a day without googling?
Could I show them how to find information without using my laptop?

I will be sure to try and in the meantime,
I am going to wave my magic wand and attempt to find some Encylcopaedias on ebay.


Linking up to


  1. I couldnt agree more! My brother & I had the luxury of google at school but i always used the encyclopedias aswell if not first, google was great for pictures & extra information. I just to love looking like a big kid "studying" with all my books of information around me too haha
    I hope i still have our set somewhere if not i too will be buying another set.
    Great post hun

  2. great post.

    I was listening to the radio on a study into longevity.

    Those children who have books in their home live longer..

    I dont think the digital will ever really subsitute.

    Have a lovely weekend

    jill x

  3. I often wonder about encyclopaedias still being in print in the next few years. And even though I can myself purchasing a Kindle in the next year or so, there is nothing like holding a large paperback in your hands and reading on the lounge... Let's try and keep those important cultures for our children. xx

  4. I just love books. I read an article a while ago that a 7-year-old is more likely to have a mobile phone than his/her own books. I can't imagine my home without books. My kids would be missing out on so much.

  5. I think our children will always be wired for information, but books will still have their place. To be honest, I don't really use books to find my own info these days. I'm all about google and other online resources.

    But I will never give up reading stories and poetry on the written page and I hope my children don't either!

    A terrific, thought-provoking post, Larissa. I love your expression 'how on google earth'! Tops!