As an author who is also responsible for the promotion of my work, I use technology. I use it ALL THE TIME. In fact, on weekends when I do most of my writing and promoting, the first place my family looks for me is at the computer. During these times, I find myself reading over Facebook posts, Tweets, comments, e-mails, and many other outlets.
The more I used these tools online, the more I notice how often grammar and spelling errors appeared. Now, it is almost "normal" to see these errors.When these trends began, spelling and grammar mistakes were often obvious. But I think something happens to us as we continuously expose ourselves to incorrect grammar and spelling. The mistakes become "normal" and if we are not paying attention, we may be teaching ourselves to read and write in this way as well.
For example, how many times have we read a sentence like this:
"Your being silly."
"The dog chaces it's tale."
(Bonus: How many errors were in those two sentences? Hint: The answer is not two.)
The more we see and read errors like this, the less we notice them. With phones and texting, our kids are taking in this information constantly.
As a mom of three children, including a teenager, I know it is impractical to suggest our kids text perfect grammar to each other. In fact, they probably look forward to a few minutes where they are not graded on their usage.
So, what can we do? Aside from running a militant grammar home, I believe the answer is simple. We need to ensure our children are reading more. We need to ensure they are not just reading the computer screen, but are reading novels, chapter books, and picture books. Our children should be bombarding their brains with as much literature as possible.
Why? Because just like reading constant errors online trains our brain to see the errors as normal, the more we read literature and other published material, the better our language skills will be maintained and sharpened.
One way to do this is to encourage our children to read 15-20 minutes a day. If they can and want to do more, fantastic! Sometimes you'll see that they read for 15 minutes and become engulfed in the book. Other times, they may be tired and have had enough. The important part is to get reading and make it a habit.
For great tips for encouraging children to read, visit Reading is Fundamental. There are great ideas and resources that will help with all readers.
Share with me:
How often do you read? What do you read? Have you increased your reading this summer?
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