This is Dick.
This is Spot.
Spot is Dick’s dog.
Run, Spot, run.
See Spot run.
Bring back any memories?
I learnt how to read with Dick and Spot and Jane. I hated them. I loathed them. I only learnt to read them so I could read well enough to move onto the Bearenstein Bears. These days Dick, Spot and Jane have been relegated to the annuls of history where they belong and my children are learning to read to new, but equally tedious literature. It’s hard to bestow the love of reading when their first experience of it is so dull. I’ve tried all sorts and still Small boy aged 9 has struggled. He plows through them with a great deal of dedication and little enjoyment. But then…
I, or we, discovered something awesome. Eminem. Small boy aged 9 and myself quite like old Eminem. First thing in the morning we belt out raps at about 300 decibels to wake ourselves up on the way to school.
So how is Eminem teaching my son to read? Lyric sheets. Small boy aged 9 reads along to the rap from the lyric sheets. In two days he can keep up with Eminem’s rapid fire speech, had learnt about emphasis, irony, sarcasm, beat, and increased his vocabulary exponentially. Eminem trained himself by reading dictionaries so despite his white trash image; he’s actually quite eloquent.
Of course there is a downside – Small boy aged 9 now knows a lot of words a 9 year old shouldn’t and there are a few scenarios I’ve skipped over explaining. No doubt he’ll find out soon enough what a Johnson is without his Mom having to spell it out. I’d love to teach him to something tamer like Justin Bieber, oh no, wait, both of us would vomit if the Beeb ever found his insidious way into my car. So, Eminem and Metallica it is. The point is that it may be irreverent, it may be unorthodox, but it’s working and he’s reading.
I know there are the mommies and daddies who will be appalled, however, they forget that our generation had Dick, Fanny, the possibly lesbian George, golliwogs, Noddie and his gay pal Big Ears and the Smurfs (all those little blue men and only one little blue lass – yeah right!) – oh and the Gummy Bears who were addicted to some sort of amphetamine berry. So don’t harp on back to the sweet unoffensive literature of your youth!
If you have a problem with my method you’ve obviously never had to read Dick and Spot and in the immortal words of Kid Rock, “You can kiss my Anglo-Saxon ass!”
Have a good weekend folks.